Brace yourself! Staffing turbulence ahead.
There is no market more vulnerable to the proverbial healthcare climate changes forecasted than the state of Massachusetts. Question 1 on the November ballot is designed to mandate staffing ratios against a backdrop of one of the most competitive landscapes for healthcare talent, particularly on the clinical and ambulatory fronts. Notwithstanding, Massachusetts has one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates of 3.8%.
With over 82 full service acute care facilities and over 100 ambulatory clinics, Massachusetts healthcare providers are going to need something much stronger than an umbrella to sustain these forecasts. While some of these current and forecasted market dynamics are not unprecedented, it is the confluence of all of them simultaneously that are predicting a perfect storm. Even if you removed the impending ballot initiative from the equation, many healthcare executives state that the demand for qualified talent and the expense associated, are amongst the biggest, most daunting challenges they face.
Historically, when healthcare organizations experience spikes in demand (mandatory EMR adoption, flu season, capital expansion, etc.), there is a reactionary response which usually translates into increased dependency on premium labor typically comprised of excessive agency utilization and/or staff overtime. On average, these approaches can impact labor costs more than 15%-30% annually in addition to already increased operating costs.
Good News! There are more proactive approaches available to healthcare providers to better adapt to the undeniable climate changes brewing.
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