Can Obamacare Help Physician Shortages?

As more Americans opt for health insurance under Obamacare, a scarcity in primary-care physicians may be prevalent. According to recent research, the new healthcare initiative introduces primary care models that may actually alleviate physician shortages. As a result, the shortage of physicians could be eliminated through the use of nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Recently, researchers at RAND Corporation said that by increasing the number of patient-centered medical homes and health centers managed by nurses, the number of shortages among primary-care physicians could drop by 50 percent or more in the U.S. by 2025. Many of the new primary care models enacted by the Affordable Care Act call for increased interactions between nurse practitioners, physician assistants and their patients, ensuring that they are taking medications regularly, eating well, and abiding by their doctor’s orders.

With the introduction of accountable care programs and organizations, hospitals and health systems are adding several new nurse practitioners to their staff in order to ensure efficient operations. While several health plans are linking to ACOs, these organizations are rewarding healthcare providers for working as a team to help manage costs and provide quality care. Additionally, by grouping all medical care providers together under a single entity, nurses and other caregivers are used to help control care for several patients.

As a result, if the ACOs obtain better results, providers within the organizations will divide up the profits saved with the health plans. Several private health insurance companies, including Aetna, Cigna, Wellpoint, UnitedHealth Group and Humana are connecting with ACOs and patient-centered medical homes. In addition to these efforts, many large drugstores across the country, including Walgreens and CVS, are connecting with medical care providers to help manage patient treatment plans with both nurse practitioners and pharmacists in their clinics.

Although Obamacare may help alleviate physician shortages, physicians must continue to manage their finances effectively in order to ensure the success of their practice. Physician factoring can be the key to increasing your cash flow. Thanks to same-day funding and immediate cash advances, physicians can easily take care of increased overhead costs resulting from the recession. Instead of waiting for payments from private insurers, doctors can accelerate their cash flow by taking advantage of physician factoring services. Learn more about medical factoring for private practice physicians by requesting a quote online today.

Retired Nurses Help Ease Staffing Crunch

We’ve been blogging for years about the nurse shortage and how medical staffing agencies have various opportunities to capitalize on the staffing crisis. There was an interesting article on Health Leaders Media’s website that profiled MidMichigan Health, a nonprofit system based in Midland, MI, that started bringing back retired nurses to cover gaps in shifts.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

The health system found it had a cadre of retired nurses who didn’t want to entirely stop working, so it utilized the available talent to fill gaps in schedules, work on special projects, and generally improve the staffing situation across the whole system.

“We had a lot of retirees that took a retirement package we offered as a cost saving measure,” says Tonia VanWieren, BSN, RN, director maternity unit/pediatrics, nursing office/shift administrator, MyTimeSelect/system staffing. “Then they wanted to come back to work because of the economy and different things in their lives.”

Click here to read the entire article: Retired Nurses Ease a Staffing Crunch, Bolster Budget

Japan’s Answer to Nursing Shortage

A Japanese company, Riken Research Institute, has designed the RIBA (Robot for Interactive Body Assistance) to help nurses lift and move patients. The 4 and a half-foot robot can lift over 130-pounds, and is outfitted with sensors to recognize faces and answer up to 30 unique commands.

Engineers are hoping to place the robots in Japanese healthcare centers by 2012.

Click here to read the entire article: Japan’s Answer to the Nursing Shortage.

Ohio Among Top Three States in Need of Nurses

Ohio’s nursing shortage is projected to reach 23,000 by 2020, which is 29 percent of the projected national nurse shortage of 300,000.

Currently, Ohio reports only a 5 percent vacancy rate for RNs, which is below the national averages. This most likely due to the fact that Ohio nursing schools have been focusing on increasing their nurse graduates at the same time that older nurses are putting off retirement, but these trends won’t last long.

According to a report released this month by the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, nurses and nurse educators said longer hours, increasing case loads and greater physical demands are all straining the current nurse supply. Not to mention, more than 600 beds are slated to be added to central Ohio’s area hospitals in the coming years, which will increase nurses’ workloads in the area.

Nurse educators are needed as well. Ohio’s nurse faculty shortage is expected to hit 3,600 over the next 10 years. In 2009, The Ohio State University’s nursing school turned away three and a half qualified applicants for every one admitted, and three instructors left for higher paying jobs at the OSU Medical Center.

Looks like the state of Ohio is a good place to be if you’re a nurse staffing agency owner looking for new business!

Click here to read the entire article: Nursing stocked, but not for long.

CA Facing Allied Health Shortage

According to a report issued by The California Wellness Foundation, by 2030, the state of California will need 988,000 allied health professionals.

Similar to the nurse faculty shortage, the allied health workforce is experiencing problems with retaining educators because instructors get paid more money to work than to teach the profession. In addition, California’s state budget crisis is reducing the systems’ ability to offer classes due to high equipment and material costs.

There is one positive note…About half of the allied health professional jobs that will be required in the state by 2030 are entry-level positions, meaning a high school education is all that’s needed.

For all those allied health staffing agencies out there, it sounds as though CA is a good place to start marketing your services.

Click here to read the entire article: Dire Shortage Seen in Allied Health Professionals.

Travel Nurses: Where to go on next Assignment?

Nurses across the country are ending their summer stays on assignment and are looking for employment elsewhere.  The following five states have the highest demand for nurses and are great examples of places to explore while on the job. 

California: The weather here is intriguing; you could place yourself in snow or sun in the winter depending on where you choose to go.  It is estimated that CA will need about 300,000 RNs by 2016. 

Florida: The opportunity for RNs in this state only goes up over time.  Much of the population consists of 65 and older, however its exciting cities and nightlife are very appealing.  No snow here, either.

New York: This state speaks for itself, and will also be in great demand for RNs over the next decade.  There are plenty of interesting and fun things to do in the city.

Ohio: By 2016, 130,000 RNs will be needed in the Buckeye state.  Ohio has three major metropolitan areas including Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati.  Cleveland’s professional sports teams and remodeled downtown should attract many RNs.

Pennsylvania: Currently, there are 17,000 health care workers needed throughout PA.  Philly and Pittsburgh are two cities with extraordinary historical sites. 

The whole country is currently running on a shortage of RNs.  These five states would be great for traveling nurses, but they should not be limited to these five.

MD Trying to Prevent Nursing Shortage

Washington Post staff reporter, Rick Rojas, recently wrote an article documenting the incredible efforts going on in Maryland to increase the number of nurses as well as nursing educators.  The Maryland Hospital Association plan to give $15.5 million over the next five years to 17 MD nursing schools to increase the number of students they can accept in their programs, which should also increase the number of nurses in the state.  The grant money will be coming from a number of sources, but mainly from healthcare providers, insurers, and individual donors all worrisome over the inevitable nursing shortage. 

The number of patients filling doctors’ offices is growing at an alarming rate in MD.  Catherine Crowley, VP of the Maryland Hospital Association, explains that with life expectancies going up due to more healthy and active citizens, Maryland will need 10,000 more nurses than it currently has in order to meet the needs of patients. 

According to Nancy Fiedler, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Hospital Association, the average age for a nurse in MD is 47, and about 43% of all nurses plan on retiring sometime in the next three years.  Crowley says the problem is further developed when approximately 1,000 qualified nursing school applicants are turned down each year due to inadequate faculty numbers and classroom space. 

Crowley estimates that about 360 more faculty members are needed in MD nursing school programs.  The schools also have to buy upgraded medical technology and new laboratories.  Since the distribution of monies has been announced, Montgomery College, one of the recipients, already has plans in place to invest their piece of the pie into three new laboratories. 

To read the entire Washington Post article, click here: Preventive Medicine for A Shortage Of Nurses

New Jersey takes action to avoid Nursing Shortage

Forty-six former nursing masters and doctoral students have been chosen to participate in the New Jersey Nursing Initiative.  The $22 million program, which is privately funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, has pledged to help solve the looming nursing shortage in the state. 

The 46 participants will be receiving a $50,000 stipend, along with full-rides to attend in-state schools.  However, they must teach nursing students at a New Jersey college for a minimum of three years after graduation. 

According to Susan Bakeswell-Sachs, director of the program and nursing dean at the College of New Jersey, women opting to enter different professional fields and a decline in scholarships for nursing students throughout the 1990s are two main causes of the current shortage.  In addition, Nurses who work in clinical settings make on average $50,000 more per year than a nurse educator. 

Even though studies from the early 2000s predicted nursing shortages within the next 15-20 years, enrollment in the field has dramatically increased.  However, the number of faculty and administrators cannot accommodate this influx.  In fact, roughly 50,000 nurse student applications are denied each year because of faculty shortages.

Billboards in Philadelphia are urging nurses to move into the classroom so that more aspiring nurses can be educated and the nursing shortage can be averted.  The recession plays a role in the shortage as well, but surprisingly a positive one.  Nurses who would otherwise be retired are still working due to financial constraints. In addition, nurses who had been temping part-time when the economy was in better shape have also started going back to full-time employment. According to Linda Aiken, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, believes that once the recession ends, the nursing shortage will most likely become a crisis as these older nurses begin to retire; add in Obama’s proposed health care plan to provide 47 million more Americans with health insurance, and the nursing shortage of today seems almost irrelevant.

Click here to read the article: Scholarship program aims to stem N.J. nursing shortage

Nursing Shortage threatens Health Care Reform Success

The medical staffing factoring experts at PRN Funding recently came across an article in The Daily Tell that focused on the nation’s nurse shortage. A summary of the article is included below:

The number of nurses in America is declining at an alarming rate.  As the aging baby boomer population demands health care, more nurses are depended upon everyday.  Nurses are vital to health care success.  In fact, with more nurses working in a healthcare setting, fewer medical mistakes are made and fewer hospital-acquired infections are obtained.  Studies also show that hospitals with more nurses have shorter patient stays and lower patient mortality rates.  There are currently 2.5 million nurses in America; projections for 2025 have this number at 500,000. 

Luckily, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) have begun working together on an initiative to inject more qualified nurses into the American health care system.  Their partnership will create a panel of health care experts and aims to create and improve nursing education programs for the future. 

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of RWJF explains that, “For health reform to succeed, and for patients to receive better care at a cost we can afford, we must change the way health care is delivered.  And nursing is at the heart of patient care.”

Nurses currently make up the largest section of the health care workforce.  Hopefully this initiative keeps it that way. 

To read the entire article click here: Nursing initiative will address future of healthcare, nursing shortage

Nursing Shortage to Hit New York, Country

Back in March, the factoring blog posted about the nursing shortage in New York City.  Now, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is warning Americans that in conjunction with the health care crisis, an imminent nursing shortage is upon us as a nation.  There cannot be health care reform without more nurses in the health care system.  Luckily for New Yorkers and Americans, Senator Gillibrand is taking on this issue.

The main reason for the sudden scarcity is due to many nurses getting ready for retirement.  In Brooklyn and Queens, 19% of the nurses are over the age of 55 and will be ready to retire over the next ten years.  New York City alone will need about 60,000 more nurses over the next ten years if it wants to sustain a quality health care system.

Another problem is the nursing education system.  Qualified applicants are being denied entry into nursing programs across the country due to limited classroom space and insufficient number of faculty.  The College of Staten Island in Staten Island only accepted 125 out of 400 applicants.  While the rejection pool includes unqualified students, a good number of worthy prospects still remains.

Senator Gillibrand has plans to circumvent this potential disaster.  To increase nursing faculty, she plans to offer 100% loan repayment to nurses who complete a nursing program and choose to come back and teach at nursing institutions.  In addition, she plans to give out grants to nursing education programs so that they can accept more students.  Lastly, she wants to incentivise nurses to insert themselves into poorer areas of New York.

President Obama has already helped Senator Gillibrand’s third task; part of Obama’s stimulus package included a $300 million grant to the National Health Service Corps, an organization that recruits nurses.

Click here to read the entire article: New York’s Nursing Shortage (Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand)