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Healthcare Jobs Continue To Be The Best Jobs

Posted by Laura McMullen on Thu, Apr 13, 2017

The 2017 U.S. News & World Report rankings of the best jobs in the US are out and 8 of the top 10 are healthcare providers. Dentists are back on top after slipping to second after orthodontists in 2016; anesthesiologists and psychiatrists fell out of the top 10. Nurse practitioners moved up the most spots (from sixth to second) and orthodontists moved down the most (from first to fifth).  

Here’s the Top 10:  

best jobs_table.jpg(Statistician was fourth and computer systems analyst ranked eighth to round out the Top 10. Click here for the whole list.)

Healthcare jobs have dominated the top 10 for the last few years with solid demand, high job satisfaction, and strong salaries. Like last year, dentists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants make up the clear majority of the projected demand. All three are generalists who offer treatment to people of a variety of ages on a routine basis. The rest of the providers in the list are specialists who provide care for people with specific needs.  

NetMinder Shows More Specialists Are Joining Networks

Generalists are in higher demand with more open positions overall. Interestingly, NetMinder shows that generalists are being added to provider networks more slowly than specialists.  

  • The number of general dentists who participate in national provider networks grew 11% between March 2016 and March 2017 while dental specialists grew 24% in the same period. 
  • The number of primary care physicians in broad, national networks grew 11% during the same period while specialists grew 15%.  

Two possible reasons for this are (1) specialty care costs more so carriers are motivated to add specialists to their networks and (2) there are more specialists than generalists. Medical networks are more mature than dental networks, which explains the slower growth rate of medical specialists in networks. 

The overall demand reflects the increased need for healthcare services in the US. Factors contributing to this need are: 

  • The aging of the US population. By the year 2040, about 22% of the population will be over age 65, per the US Administration on Aging. And we’re living longer: the Census Bureau reports that the average time to live for those turning 85 increased from 5.5 years in 1972 to 6.5 years in 2010. 
  • The shortage of doctors and nurses. Rigorous, lengthy, and expensive training requirements and the aging of the workforce plus unsatisfactory working conditions make these professions less attractive to young people. Some shortages result from faulty geographic and specialty distribution of healthcare professionals.  

While the greater demand for generalists is in line with the triple aim of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement: improve the patient experience (including quality and satisfaction), improve the health of populations, and reduce the per capita cost of health care, the shortage of specialists is also being felt. 

Demand For Specialized Healthcare Providers Small But Significant 

As we’ve seen in other years, the absolute number of professionals needed in these specialty fields is low, i.e. orthodontists, oral surgeons, and nurse anesthetists. Yet, the demand represents a significant percentage of the workforce and the training programs are long and rigorous requiring long lead times to fill openings. Many of these professionals serve limited populations during occasional periods with time-consuming or high-risk services which also suppresses demand resulting in a few openings with high rewards.  

All eight have similar satisfaction rankings and unemployment rates with the major differences in demand and salary possibilities. As in past years, the rankings take compensation, flexibility, opportunities for advancement, market demand, amount of stress, and skills or training required into consideration. See the methodology here

How are you addressing these supply and demand trends in your network development plans? 

Tags: Medical, dentists, network development, best jobs, healthcare providers, medical specialties, healthcare jobs

How benefits are bought has changed. Have you changed how you’re selling?

Posted by Aaron Groffman on Thu, Sep 20, 2012

Prudential’s Sixth Annual Study of Employee Benefits finds that 40% of plan sponsors say the employee benefits decision-making process has changed in the past five years, with senior management being more involved.  According to John DeLorenzo, SVP or Sales for Prudential Group Insurance, decisions are moving as high as the C-Suite. After interviewing more than 2,000 C-level executives at 500 companies during and before the recent recession, Nic Read, president and CEO of SalesLabs agrees, and thinks it will stay this way for at least four more years.

To land these higher level meetings, Read suggests identifying the gatekeepers to help get you an appointment.  But certainly “cultivate multiple points of entry, and gauge who has “more influence than authority”.  Pursue all options.  Sam Fleet of AmWINS Group Benefits advises his sales staff to “never take a ‘no’ from somebody who can’t give you a ‘yes’”.

Sales representatives need to be more consultative and work with potential clients on a health care strategy:

  • Bring solutions to problems. rather than spreadsheets.
  • Give insights that provoke ideas.
  • Advise
  • Commit the person to something at the end of the meeting that only they can do. Know what that commitment is and propose it before you walk out the door.

It’s clearly more important than ever for the sales consultant to be prepared and armed. We constantly tweak our data to deliver reports that show thought-provoking insights. I’d love to know if you’ve noticed this trend and how you’re responding to it.

Tags: Healthcare, Medical, Vision, dental, employee benefits

Exchanges Mean Insurers Must Market Directly To Consumers To Compete

Posted by Aaron Groffman on Wed, Jul 18, 2012

change3 resized 600 

The recent SCOTUS decision makes it necessary for health insurers to rethink their business models.  This is shaping up to be the most competitive era in healthcare’s history. The ability to recognize and adapt to change is key to survival.  Charles Fine from the Sloane School of Management points out, “thinking cannot be outsourced," and lots of thinking needs to be done right now.

To capitalize on the opportunity presented by ACA, the majority of insurers plan to participate in state health insurance exchanges.  Suddenly, consumers become a crucial vast market which adds a whole new dimension to how insurance companies view their business. PwC estimates health policies sold through exchanges could be worth nearly $60 billion in premium revenue by 2014 and grow to nearly $200 billion by 2019.  Marketing to consumers will change from the current employer-based B2B model to an exchange-based B2C model.

Insurers won’t find much help about how to compete looking within their own industry.  Instead they should be thinking about what companies like Amazon and Zappos and other online retailers did right to get where they are.  They must walk the tightrope between control and speed.  How will insurers reach this crucial market, what will their message strategy be to differentiate themselves from other insurers, and how will they be sure their infrastructure is in place to deliver on marketing promises made?

According to the following article from Employee Benefit Adviser, the insurers surveyed expect it will take approximately 15 months on average to get their businesses ready for exchange certification by the federal government, with 60% expecting it to take 18 months or longer.  How do you think these new challenges will affect insurers?

Providers will need to shift toward consumer-focused model post-reform - Articles - Employee Benefit Adviser.

Tags: Healthcare, Healthcare, Economy, Medical, Medical, Vision, dental

Employers reaching out directly to providers to build networks.

Posted by Aaron Groffman on Thu, Jul 12, 2012

I just read Emily Berry’s recent article in amednews about some employers attempting to manage their own provider networks. Just imagine the redundancies and inefficiencies if all employers decided to contract directly with healthcare providers.  Not to mention the time providers would spend time dealing directly with employers regarding contracts rather than treating patients.

Building and maintaining provider networks is not and will never be a core-competency for employers, and therefore should be delegated to those who do it all the time.  It would be a better use of an employer’s leverage to insist on better contracts and narrow, high-performance networks that the carrier could turn around and market to others, rather than having a “single-use” network built for an individual employer.

There is no official count of how many employers are contracting directly with providers, but industry insiders say there is certainly growing interest.  Am I wrong about this, or does this sound like an idea that may have merit in certain limited situations, but is clearly not scalable?  What are your thoughts?

Tags: Healthcare, Healthcare, Economy, Medical, Medical, Vision, dental

With a few tweaks, ObamaCare might actually work.

Posted by Aaron Groffman on Fri, Jul 06, 2012

While it received most of the attention due to the SCOTUS decision, the individual mandate is not the main problem with ObamaCare.  In fact, from an insurance perspective, having (almost) everyone in the pool is better.  The problem is when you combine the individual mandate with a required minimum benefit that's often too expensive for the new entrants.  The result is too many people opting out and paying the tax, leaving them uncovered for serious illness or injury, and keeping the rest of us on the hook to foot the bill. This clearly defeats the purpose and intention of the mandate.

I agree with Holman Jenkins' assertion in his WSJ piece "ObamaCare—Upheld and Doomed" that a reasonable tweak to make ObamaCare more successful at covering more people without bankrupting the system is to "modify the Affordable Care Act so buying any health policy authorized by the new charter, no matter how minimalist, satisfies the employer and individual mandate." Read the article and let me know if you agree.

Tags: Healthcare, Healthcare, Economy, Medical, Medical, Vision, dental

No end in sight for rising costs.

Posted by NetMinder -Ignition Group on Sat, Jun 30, 2012


Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce just came out with a comprehensive report on the state of healthcare and its impact on the healthcare workforce by 2020.  Bottom line, in spite of new legislation, there is no end in sight for rising costs. While costs are expected to increase at a slightly slower pace over the next decade, they are still predicted to amount to 20% of GDP by 2020. Because of this rapid growth, the healthcare industry has the p0tential to create 5.6 million jobs between 2010 and 2020.

Our industry clearly has many challenges. They say that every big problem is solved with small steps. Which ones should we be taking to address these predictions of costs that exceed anyplace else in the world?

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Tags: Healthcare, Healthcare, Economy, Medical, Medical, Vision, dental

This is what happens when the government manages healthcare...

Posted by Aaron Groffman on Wed, Feb 08, 2012

Cracking Down On $70 Billion Worth Of Medicare Fraud | Fast Company

We would have to be crazy to turn over more of our healthcare programs to the US Government.  Don't you agree?

Tags: Healthcare, Healthcare, Economy, Medical, Medical, Vision, dental

CIGNA Dental announces that they now contract with 100,000 unique dentists nationwide.

Posted by NetMinder -Ignition Group on Wed, Nov 16, 2011

The bar for dental PPO networks has been raised again. CIGNA Dental announced in a November 10th press release that they now contract with 100,000 dentists

The reference to 100,000 dentists under contract is a combination of CIGNA's Radius network along with their DNSP network. DNSP is essentially an out-of-network, smaller discount overlay to their Radius network delivered primarily through a relationship with Coalition America.

With an available universe of over 180,000 unique dentists nationwide, network penetration is still less than 60%, and there appears there is still room for growth. At what point will the dental PPO market be saturated?

Tags: Healthcare, Healthcare, Economy, Medical, Medical, Vision, dental

I'm a big fan of pricing transparency, and this seems like a step in the right direction.

Posted by NetMinder -Ignition Group on Thu, May 05, 2011

Everyone in the food business knows that restaurants make most of their money on side orders. Now it appears that brokers are catching on. describe the image

Read on for insight into how brokers are thinking these days.

How to capitalize on ancillary benefits - Articles - Employee Benefit Adviser.

Tags: Healthcare, Healthcare, Economy, Medical, Medical, Vision, dental

Will new database for out-of-network claims give more pricing leverage to providers? How about consumers?

Posted by NetMinder -Ignition Group on Wed, May 04, 2011


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I'm a big fan of pricing transparency, and this seem like a step in the right direction.  I've taken a look at the dental interface and it's very nice.  As a dental consumer, I can get an idea of what dentists charge for particular procedures.  However, as an uninsured dental consumer, I'm still guessing at what they'd be willing to accept as payment in full.

Tags: Healthcare, Healthcare, Economy, Medical, Medical, Vision, dental





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