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The growth in healthcare jobs might not be good news

South Florida is bursting with new healthcare degree programs touting the growth of well-paying jobs. Harvard Business Review thinks there's something not quite right with this picture.

"Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the American Medical Association, my colleagues and I found that from 1990 to 2012, the number of workers in the U.S. health system grew by nearly 75%," writes Robert Kocher, an advisory board member of Harvard Medical School's Health Care Policy Department. 

"Nearly 95% of this growth was in non-doctor workers, and the ratio of doctors to non-doctor workers shifted from 1:14 to 1:16," he says. But the numbers show supply is outstripping demand:

"From 2002 to 2012, inpatient days per capita decreased by 12% while the workforce in hospitals grew by 11%. This misalignment underlies some of the productivity decline we have observed in health care. Fortunately, we anticipate demand for health care to grow in 2014, so to the extent that jobs are not added, productivity gains are possible."

Unfortunately, says Kocher, the healthcare industry continues to hire faster than demand is growing, "adding 119,000 new workers in the first half of 2013, for example, with little increase in patient volume." Read more.


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