ACA, health IT changing job landscape

November 20, 2013 in Medical Technology

In the wake of health IT advances, the Affordable Care Act, and baby boom retirement, jobs such as records technicians, medical assistants, patient navigators and other frontline and nonclinical positions are on the rise, according to a new report.

The study, published Nov. 19 by College for America, examines six fast-growing positions, including the new patient navigator position created by the ACA.

Two other job titles, medical office specialist and medical assistant, are expected to have the third- and fourth-largest increases through 2020 among all jobs in all industries tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, according to the report.

The study shows a shift toward a more versatile set of skills than were required for these types of positions in the past, specifically those in technical communication and information technology fluency.

One of the positions spotlighted in the report is medical records technician, a role that’s responsible for compiling, processing and maintaining patient medical records “in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, ethical, legal and regulatory requirements,” according to the report.

“Medical records and health information technicians earn between $24,000 and $45,000 depending upon geography and level of experience. They typically pursue a certificate program or associate degree consisting of coding, computer science, statistics, health data standards and legal aspects of health information,” the report highlights. 

This research report is the work of Julian L. Alssid and Melissa Goldberg, who lead the school’s workforce strategy team in matching curriculum developments with employer’s workforce skill needs.

These six positions profiled in the report are projected to add more than 2 million new job openings this decade, with growth rates ranging from roughly 20 to 40 percent.

“These positions are taking on a broader set of work skills than their traditional roles often have in the past,” Alssid and Goldberg write, “requiring specific and technical communication and information skills, teamwork abilities, an increased understanding of the healthcare system, and information technology fluency.”

Access the full report here.

[See also: Talent shortages threaten IT momentum]

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