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HLT 307 Week 5 Discussion Question One

HLT 307 Week 5 Discussion Question One

 

Why must health care providers must grow as professionals? What benefits does this give to all interested parties (the organization, the patients, and the health care providers themselves)? Make a list of at least five benefits and then pick two from among the list that you most closely identify with.  Explain how these two benefits may have impacted your own professional development.

Why We Need Healthcare Professionals Now More Than Ever
Demographic shifts, political party changes and technological advancements have helped shape our healthcare system for decades,

HLT 307 Week 5 Discussion Question One

HLT 307 Week 5 Discussion Question One

and these things will continue to impact the future of healthcare.

Let’s look at five specific reasons that the U.S. needs healthcare professionals today.

1. An Aging Population of Baby Boomers
Approximately 76 million people were born between 1946 and 1964, labeled the baby boomer generation, which was the largest in history. The oldest members of this generation reached social security retirement age in 2012; the remaining baby boomers will be of retirement age by 2030. Divide the 76 million baby boomers by the 19-year span of this generation to see an average of four million people retiring annually or nearly 11,000 people per day.

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Most baby boomers will rely on Medicare and/or Medicaid to provide post-retirement healthcare, which will strain existing healthcare resources. Adding to the strain, the average life expectancy continues to increase, which means the boomer generation is likely to live, and rely on such programs, longer than previous generations. To put this into perspective, the current life expectancy of 78.8 years is nearly double what it was a century ago. These increases in patients should be met with an increase in healthcare professionals to maintain efficient healthcare.

Because of this increased burden, professionals in healthcare must ensure that payment and insurance systems are running efficiently and taking advantage of technological advances to keep this aging group healthy and active. Healthcare professionals will also be required to provide care, manage staff, and manage the increased load on IT systems. These tasks call for professionals who specialize in finance, management, leadership, and technology.

2. A Booming Biopharmaceutical Industry
In its annual World Preview report, market research firm Evaluate Pharma projected a global growth rate for the pharmaceutical industry of 6.3 percent through 2022, which is up from the five percent it predicted last year through 2020.

With growing demand comes an increased need for professionals in this field. The biopharmaceutical sector creates jobs that offer high wages and require a workforce with diverse education and skills. In fact, employees in this sector earned an average salary of $123,108 in 2014.

Biopharmaceuticals is a large and growing part of the economy that could benefit from an increase in qualified healthcare professionals. This specialty is a good fit or a professional with a chemistry or biology background. Job titles include clinical research associate, molecular biology or genomics technician and environmental health and safety manager.

3. An Ever-Evolving Environment Led by Political Influences
Of all the social, economic, and technological factors that affect healthcare, politics is arguably the most influential driver of change.

A 2014 Gallup Poll indicated that no other factor is as relevant to Americans’ opinions on healthcare as their party affiliation. The poll asked specific questions about the Affordable Care
Act; the results showed that Republicans were 17 times more likely to disapprove of the ACA than Democrats.

The current political mood suggests major changes to the Affordable Care Act are likely now that a Republican president is in office. Any changes made to healthcare will be enforced in the coming years, and the industry must rely on capable and well-educated professionals to implement these changes.

Professionals looking to get involved in healthcare policy may consider careers such as public health researchers, healthcare policy analysts or health services managers. Healthcare policy jobs can be divided into the following three categories:

Healthcare settings career: As the U.S. healthcare system continues to transform, many institutions are seeking to fill professional positions with candidates experienced with health policy. Healthcare policy jobs require ongoing education to ensure the institution is following proper protocol.
Healthcare consulting careers: Many providers do not have the means to employ people with specific expertise in healthcare policy, so they outsource the work to consulting firms. Healthcare consulting firms provide the added benefit of being able to use advanced data and financial modeling that a private organization likely cannot access.
Government policy careers: Government policy careers offer the ability to affect policy before it is created. Healthcare policy analysts who work for the government are tasked with analyzing the success or failure of current programs and recommending changes that will promote individual and community health.

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