The demand for medical care across the country is growing, but it has led to a shortage of qualified medical professionals, including medical assistants.
The problem of a lack of medical care can be felt in every state and every environment. In a recent article, Oklahoma was listed as just one of many states that is experience a shortage of medical professionals, especially in rural areas.
“Oklahoma has 76 doctors per 100,000 residents, far fewer than the 220 doctors per capita nationally, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. The state ranks 43rd in doctors per capita and 41st in primary-care physicians,” reports the website Oklahoma Watch. “Seventy-two of the state’s 77 counties, or 94 percent, are designated by the federal government as shortage areas for primary health professionals.”
Doctors and nurses are in needed in places like Oklahoma, but so are medical assistants who provide support in both clinical and administrative areas. There is a need for more professionally trained medical assistants, especially as the demand for medical care continues to grow.
Medical assistants, which provide valuable support to both clinical and administration staff in a healthcare facility, are in high demand all across the country, especially as the number of patients being treated by the healthcare industry is growing every year. The growing need for medical assistants has led to a shortage and that means there are a lot of opportunities for those with professional training from a school like A Technical College. Applicants with relevant training in the clinical and administrative duties performed by medical assistants are finding a world of opportunities in the fast growing healthcare field.
Administrative processes in the medical field are changing and that means medical assistants need to change, also.
Changes highlighted by a Health Media Leader report included the growing role insurance companies are playing in Medicaid programs.
“More states have been expanding public insurance options through managed Medicaid programs, which put health insurers in charge of offering Medicaid coverage,” the report said. “This added focus will mean the insurers that are already dealing with that needy population will have an advantage over those that have stayed out of needy populations as states relax Medicaid salary restrictions.”
The growth of both health insurance and programs like Medicaid will increase the need for medical assistants who can handle the growing amount of administrative work that will take place. The healthcare industry is already one that has a large administrative component, but that will only increase and medical office professionals with quality training will continue to be needed.
“Hospital leaders should recognize that patients are becoming increasingly educated in the use of online tools that allow them to compare not only the price of certain elective surgeries, but other quality measures, such as the number of C-section deliveries or the mortality rate for heart bypass operations,” Health Media Leader reported. “In addition to the need to develop or refine a system wide plan for presenting such information, there are opportunities to utilize such data market development.”
The rate of spending on healthcare is also growing at a dramatic pace and that’s good news for professionally trained medical assistants.
“In the United States, healthcare spending now represents 17 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and, amidst a modest economic recovery, healthcare costs are expanding at twice the country’s economic growth rate,” stated a report by Russell Reynolds Associates. “According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), healthcare spending represents an average of 9.5 percent of GDP for the 34 OECD countries in North and South America, Europe and the Asia/Pacific region.”
A lot of the increase spending on healthcare is for employees, such as medical assistants.
“The average annual growth rate in healthcare costs for the group is 4.9 percent (exceeding the U.S. rate). In China, where most of the country is insured, healthcare spending is growing at a rate of 16 percent. The global phenomenon, regardless of payer system, is that the pool of available capital to pay for healthcare is either decreasing or staying flat, while costs are rising. The pharmaceutical sector, where overall revenue is expected to remain flat or to decline over the next 10 years, is a reflection of this new reality.”
The medical fields is growing at a dramatic rate and that means there are a variety of employment options for those with professional training in a variety of medical professions, including medical assistants. A Technical College offers a quality medical office specialist training program that can help you take advantage of the growing medical field and build a long-term career.