Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Threat of VMS - Notes from the Healthcare Staffing Summit 2009 [Pt. 2] Keynote with Barry Asin: The Future of Healthcare Staffing: Where We’ve Been and Where We are Going. Barry Asin is the Chief Analyst & Managing Executive, Products for the Staffing Industry Analysts. As always, Barry presented a lot of valuable information about the current state of the healthcare staffing industry last week at the 2009 Healthcare Staffing Summit. I look forward to his presentation every year at the summit. Although much of the news painted a bleak picture for the foreseeable future, it was interesting to get the data and face reality. Here are the highlights of his presentation from my notes: Turnover of hospital employees has dramatically decreased. There is currently a power struggle between hospitals and staffing suppliers and the hospitals are winning. 44% decrease in travel nursing since last year. 33% average decrease among the four largest public healthcare staffing companies in the nation (AMN, Cross Country, On Assignment, MSN). The forecast for healthcare staffing in 2009 has declined by 25%. Locum Tenens is the only area that saw growth in 2009 (9%). 2009 is the first year that Locums has grown more than travel nursing. Predictions for healthcare staffing are flat for 2010, with Locums being the only growth sector. ECRI data suggests that the recession is over. Most economists believe unemployment will level off at 10% by end of 2009. Healthcare reform could have a largely positive impact on the healthcare staffing industry, specifically in the increase for demand in healthcare professionals. 48% of hospitals...
Help! Is there an economist in the house? - Notes from the Healthcare Staffing Summit [pt. 4] Keynote with Alan Beaulieu: Help! Is there an economist in the house? Alan Beaulieu, Senior Economist for the Institute for Trend Research had a great session at the Healthcare Staffing Summit last week. Two years ago he presented at this same conference and predicted the downturn in the economy almost to the dollar and date. At the time, things were going so well most people thought he must be way off. Turns out he was right on. So this year, we all listened intently to what he had to say. Interestingly, Alan tried to convince us that he would only speak facts and avoid politics. However, I’ve never listened to anyone talk about the economy and successfully remove their political slant. In this regard he did a decent job – but at the end some of his comments were somewhat political. Specifically, he stated that the cost of healthcare reform could make U.S. businesses less competitive internationally. Perhaps. But there are several arguments that suggest healthcare reform will make U.S. businesses more competitive. Right now, American businesses have the burden of providing healthcare for their employees while no other country has this same cost. Removing this cost could help U.S. employers tremendously in terms of competition. Regardless of who’s right – you can’t tell me this isn’t a political statement. Alan went on to take a few more cracks at the government. Toward the end he said "but don't get me wrong. I'm very civic minded. I took public transportation...

Jason Lander

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