KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Midcareer Professionals Find New Opportunities In Health Care

"Health care may be a costly drag on the economy, but it's still a great place to find a job," The New York Times reports. "Midcareer managers and other workers have been migrating to health care jobs for years, of course. Now, with the recession, the lure is even stronger. Hospitals, which employ more than four million people, added 135,000 jobs last year and 19,400 more in the first half of 2009, even as millions of American workers wound up unemployed." For many working in the field, health care is a second career. "Many managers with experience in fields like human resources, finance and marketing find a welcome in health care, with a little studying up."

"The Obama administration's $19 billion 10-year campaign to promote electronic medical records opens another huge opportunity, said Dr. Blackford Middleton, a technology research expert at Partners Healthcare in Boston. An estimated 40,000 to 160,000 additional health information professionals could be needed, he said." Dr. Seven A. Wartman, president of the Association of Academic Health Centers, says "nobody knows what will happen with health reform." It could create "pressure to cut costs by freezing hiring and squeezing out management jobs at hospitals and health insurers. But, he said, 'there is a very strong push to cover more people, with a lot of implications for growth in the health care work force'"  (Freudenheim, 8/19).

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