Health Care Adds Jobs in Down Economy

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that health care employment rose by 30,000 in August 2011. The U.S. unemployment rate has been stalled at approximately 9 percent for several months, and overall job growth in August for the nation as a whole was zero. In contrast: over the past 12 months, health care employment has grown by 306,000, an increase of over 2 percent. In August alone, ambulatory health care services and hospitals added 18,000 and 8,000 jobs, according to preliminary, seasonally-adjusted figures.

Modern Healthcare reports that physician offices added 5,600 workers in August, and for the 12 months ending in August, physician-office hiring increased 2.2 percent.

Medical BIlling and Coding Jobs

CPC® Salaries on the Rise

In related news, AAPC’s annual Salary Survey of nearly 12,000 respondents revealed that average salaries for coding professionals have risen. The average wage for a CPC® in 2011 was approximately $46,800 (up $1,400 from last year). Individuals with advanced certifications earned more, on average. For example, those holding both a CPC® and CPC-H® earned over $54,700 annually (an increase of nearly $4,000 since 2010). Respondents with a CPC-I® did even better, pulling in over $76,000 per year (up over $6,000 from last year).

Taken together, these figures show that, even in a down economy, health care continues to add workers to payrolls and create opportunities for wage increases.

Trouble Looms for Hospitals

As AHANews reports, however, health care jobs could be lost if Congress’ Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction fails to reach a compromise on spending cuts, according to an analysis by Tripp Umbach. The Budget Control Act created the committee to recommend deficit reductions. If Congress fails to act on the committee’s proposal or send a balanced budget amendment to the states before the end of the year, the Budget Control Act would automatically trigger cuts totaling $1.2 trillion. The Medicare program would be subject to a cut of up to 2 percent, which the study estimates could lead to the loss of 194,522 hospital and related jobs by 2021.


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2 Responses to “Health Care Adds Jobs in Down Economy”

  1. Carol Ethridge, CPC says:

    When the new ICD-10 codes are implemented, I think the demand for coders will increase. I don’t think there will be so much random employees in physician offices doing the coding, who are not certified in the first place. They won’t have a clue.

  2. Jim says:

    I like that healthcare has added jobs. I like that Certified coders are making healthcare more efficient, with fewer errors but one day all these experienced coders will leave the profession and if some you hiring office managers that don’t make training available to CPC-A’s or AAPC doesn’t offer something more than 200 operative reports to code to remove the “A” then unemployed coders will no longer pay dues to AAPC because the dues are too expensive much less the cost of the 200 operative reports coding to remove the “A” that still does not guarantee employers will see that as a qualified coder. Another approach needs to be taken to get new coders involved in training to get jobs. Volunteering is a good idea but if one has no job that pays, then how will they afford the gas or the parking, or the bus if they have no income. Healthcare wants coders but doesn’t want to pay them. There is an old adage, you get what you pay for.

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