NORWALK, Conn., April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — America's changing healthcare industry is beginning to reshape the non-physician healthcare work force, with certain jobs evaporating while others are blooming, according to results of the 2013 Staff Salary Survey by Physicians Practice, America's Leading Practice Management Magazine.
As practices automate their billing processes with outside service providers, and digitize their recordkeeping with electronic health records systems, they reported big drops in their employment of medical billers, billing managers, and medical records clerks. Those positions declined by 25 percent, 23 percent, and 37 percent, respectively, since 2011.
As practices adapt to wrenching changes in their industry by retooling their staffs, they're challenged to find ways to keep the staff they do have motivated.
“What's happening in American medical practices is clear,” explained Bob Keaveney, editorial director of Physicians Practice. “As practices modernize, jobs of the past are disappearing.”
But new jobs are being created as healthcare providers become increasingly accountable to drive positive patient outcomes. More than one in five practices now employ care coordinators—professionals whose role is to help patients access diverse services needed to maintain their health, from nutrition counselors to social workers and more. This is the first year that Physicians Practice asked about care coordinators, a position that had previously been almost unheard-of outside of large institutions or health insurance companies. Another employment trend: when it comes to non-physician healthcare providers, critical private practices are increasingly employing nurse practitioners over physician assistants, with employment of the latter declining by 26 percent in the last two years. However, that may be driven by labor shortages among PAs.
Staff salaries, meanwhile, have remained flat or declined in most areas, with one important exception: nurse managers are earning 10 percent on average more than they were two years, even as their ranks swelled at practices by 25 percent during the same period.
Physicians Practice surveyed nearly 1,000 practices during the fourth quarter of 2012 for its fourth annual Staff Salary Survey.