U.S. healthcare organizations are wrestling with a challenging duality, according to a new survey by J.P. Morgan. While the majority expect to increase hiring for physicians and nurses, there may not be enough talent to meet their needs, as 58 percent of respondents said they are extremely or very concerned about finding candidates with the right skill set.
J.P. Morgan's Healthcare Industry Outlook survey was conducted online from October 16 to November 2, 2018 and includes input from 92 healthcare organization senior executives nationwide on the economy, industry outlook and challenges, as well as plans for growth. The majority of respondents were primarily CFOs.
The talent shortage is fueled by several factors, with survey results indicating a lack of applicants, unique skills needed, and high compensation expectations as the top three.
Physician hiring will be a major focus, with 67 percent saying it is part of their strategy. Another duality lies here though, as 52 percent of respondents also said physicians are the most challenging to hire. A similar situation exists with addressing nursing shortages, as 55 percent plan to increase nurse hiring, but 46 percent said that's a challenge.
Organizations planned to specifically address the physician shortage through aggressive recruiting, medical school collaboration and boosting pay, results showed. Overall, the hiring challenges could tilt to workers' advantage, as 76 percent plan to increase compensation for the next 12 months.
Attracting new patients is a primary growth strategy for 61 percent of respondents, along with expanding target markets or lines of business, which was cited by 53 percent.
Investing in technology is also a top tier priority for execs, as 51 percent said they will invest in IT. In fact, IT is the number 1 area where healthcare organizations plan to invest over the next year.
But those same executives are mindful of the challenges they face in realizing these strategies, with 52 percent citing revenue growth, 38 percent citing rising expenses and 37 percent saying managing labor costs are difficulties they'll have to overcome to make good on their plans.
ON THE RECORD
"Healthcare industry leaders are operating in a challenging environment, but they're taking the necessary steps to plan for success," said Will Williams, managing director and industry executive for the Healthcare Middle Market Banking group within Commercial Banking at J.P. Morgan. "The industry is seeing a shift to value-based care and navigating a changing regulatory environment. Despite uncertainty, executives are planning to make strategic investments to capitalize on potential growth opportunities."
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