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Hospital layoffs continuing
Howard Richman, 2/16/2014

Health care has been a booming field. With baby-boomers aging, the demand for health care has been increasing. Young people who wanted to find a sure-fire job have been going into nursing and other medical disciplines knowing that the market for healthcare workers was growing. But that market suddenly changed in December due to the onset of Obamacare.

In order to hold down the costs of Obamacare, government administrators are placing price ceilings on government healthcare payments. Also, some healthcare consumers, facing higher costs for insurance, are cutting back on their elective procedures.

As a result of these two factors, hospitals are being forced to cut back on the services that they offer and are laying off workers. The result will be fewer hospitals and clinics and fewer services offered by the remaining hospitals and clinics. As healthcare supply decreases, customers will increasingly encounter long waiting times and other forms of healthcare rationing.

The last two monthly employment reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirm that the new trend began shortly before I first spotted it in the December 20th American Thinker (Jobless Claims Up). After going up month after month, hospital jobs started declining in December from 4,797,500 in November to 4,792,800 in December to 4,788,300 in January (on a seasonally-adjusted basis).

An article in a Nevada newspaper explains why these layoffs are occurring (Problematic hospital funding leads to layoffs, reconsiderations):

These reductions, layoffs and assessments stem from an issue that starts with federal reimbursement for delivered Medicaid and Medicare services, a crucial revenue stream for the hospital. Because of changes brought forth by the Affordable Care Act, the Nevada Regional Medical Center will be seeing a decrease in service reimbursement.

According to hospital data, 58 percent of the net revenue the hospital banked between July 2012 and July 2013 was from reimbursement for Medicare and Medicaid services. A report on the hospital's returning revenue shows that the medical center will lose nearly $8 million in reimbursement funds over the next six years.

Feuquay said that the problem with declining federal reimbursement has fueled the need to assess all hospital operations.

"Federal reimbursement is a key driver. Collections are down and the hospital budget is lower," she said.

Medical center administrators say that financial woes stem from three other places: government regulations, fewer incoming patients and the inability of many patients to pay. Together, those four problems have pushed medical center administrators to make countless cuts and reorganizations, many of which are still in the works.

So if you are about to go to school to study healthcare as a profession, think again. When you get out of school, you may be competing for the few jobs available with experienced healthcare workers that have been recently laid off. 

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