Is the Healthcare Industry Growing?

The growth of the healthcare industry is being driven by a variety of factors, such as consumer and technology changes. Continue reading to learn how and why the health care industry is growing at such a fast pace.

Rising Demand for Health Care Jobs

According to Forbes magazine, the demand for health care jobs has been on the rise for the last few years. From a historical perspective, hospitals were previously a driving economic engine in their local area. Not surprisingly, recent studies show that they are again becoming the biggest employers in their area. Considering the economic downturn, this is especially impressive.

Experts note that economic difficulties are actually driving hospitals to become more efficient and productive. In addition to this, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is driving citizens and employers to obtain and provide insurance coverage. The Affordable Care Act has increased the growth of key programs, such as insurance exchanges and the Medicaid program.

The Affordable Care Act

As mentioned above, the Affordable Care Act is making major changes to the health care system. For example, tens of millions of citizens now have affordable health care and have thus become health care consumers. The number of uninsured people has been reduced by 16 million people, so hospitals are now recovering previously lost revenue. Approximately 30 states have expanded their Medicaid coverage, which has resulted in additional 12 million new health care consumers. Now that tens of millions of health care consumers can afford quality care, they are taking advantage of services offered by health care organizations that are focused on quality, safety and comprehensive care.

Telehealth Care Services

The telehealth services industry is a cutting edge profession that uses digital technology to provide medical services and health education. This is mainly accomplished through remote patient monitoring, video conference consultations and special technologies that transmit stored digital images, such as X-rays and video clips, to remote health care providers. A patient suffering from a rare disease can participate in a video conference with nationally recognized surgeons and physicians who live in another state.

Additionally, these new technologies are increasing the accessibility of health care services to remote patients. Thus, the rural health care industry is growing as hospitals expand their coverage through rural clinics.

The Affordable Care Act and other health care legislation are raising billions of federal dollars to expand telehealth services. By increasing patient access and available services, telehealth technology is driving the growth of the health care industry.

What are the Fastest Growing Health Care Jobs?

As the health care industry expands, so does the demand for qualified health care professionals. For example, the demand for dentists and dental hygienists is expected to grow. Nnurse practitioners (NPs) and registered nurses (RNs) are the service backbone of the health care industry. More and more colleges are offering accredited fast track programs to help NPs and RNs without a degree obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Other fast growing jobs include physician assistant, occupational therapist and medical technician. As retailers and supermarkets expand their services, the demand for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians is steadily rising.

Clearly, the growth of the healthcare industry is being driven by economic, legislative, consumer and technology changes. Students interested in a stable career with excellent benefits and opportunities for advancement should pursue a degree related to health care.