Healthcare job trends

August 9, 2011

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION: Health & Science Career Advice

Non-traditional healthcare professions

In the D.C. metro area, healthcare job trends are shifting to meet consumer demand and even a federal government mandate. Area staffing firms, particularly, are accommodating these new employment trends.

Kristianna Tyler, Healthcare Account Manager for NRI Staffing, said she notices several primary growth areas in healthcare employment in the D.C. Metro area. The first area is onsite health and wellness clinics that serve corporate professionals.

These on site clinics offer basic healthcare services like medical physicals for professionals who do not have time to leave their office for such services. “…More and more of our clients are calling us for that,” Tyler said. “It gives our nurses extra pay and it’s convenient for employees.”

In addition to providing medical physicals on site, clinicians provide immunizations that became especially popular following the H1N1 virus discovery.

According to Tyler, another area of demand is administrative personnel to make the transition to paperless medical records more efficient. This demand has been catalyzed by newer technology and a federal mandate that all paper records must be processed into electronic records by 2015, or healthcare entities will be penalized for non-compliance with this mandate.

Tyler said that administrative support personnel are needed to efficiently process these records into electronic form. Although a medical background is not a prerequisite for this job role, knowledge of medical terminology is a requirement.

Between 2008 and 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 20 percent increase in the demand for medical records personnel to manage electronic medical data. The BLS forecasts 31,500 additional jobs in this sector.

Utilization review (UR) is another area in healthcare that is gaining some momentum in the D.C. area job market. Tyler said that UR candidates are rare and pharmaceutical companies are now actively seeking out such candidates.

Utilization reviews are reviews that determine eligibility of insurance coverage for specific medical services. These include analysis of the need for medical and dental services, procedures and healthcare resources. In a hospital setting, for example, this includes the review of the appropriateness of admissions, services ordered and provided, and length of stay and discharge practices.

A specialist in placing job candidates in non-traditional, specialty nursing areas such as UR, case management and data abstraction for more than two decades, Terri Kapetanovic RN MSN, of Professional Services Network, Inc., said she has also observed a higher demand for medical records and UR personnel, but in combination with other clinical roles. “Requests for certified nurse coders and clinical documentation specialists are the main two new roles that we have been asked to recruit for. Both of these roles require certification and currently, there are few nurses who have it.”

UR roles are also incorporating medical records review and data abstraction skills, while case management nurse positions in hospitals are spreading out into the UR niche, according to Kapetanovic. “Over time, we continue to see changing trends in utilization of this specific group of experienced registered nurses, by clients that include hospitals, health plans and insurance companies in the DC metro area.”

This special advertising section was written by Jennifer Leeper, a freelance writer, in conjunction with The Washington Post Custom Content Department. The production of this supplement did not involve The Washington Post news or editorial staff.

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