Healthcare Trends to Watch in 2019

healthcare trends

We are officially halfway through the year and the healthcare industry has been scorching with growth. In June 2019 alone, there were 35,000 jobs added to the U.S. healthcare industry. And over the last 12 months, the industry added a staggering 403,000 jobs, making healthcare the largest employer in the country. Now that it’s finally the 3rd quarter of 2019, here are some healthcare trends to watch for in the second half of the year.

Increased healthcare spending

Throughout the last decade, healthcare spending has continued to skyrocket. Between 2013 and 2017, global healthcare spending increased at an annual rate of 2.9 percent. However, over the next four years, global healthcare spending is projected to increase at an annual rate of 5.4 percent between 2018 and 2022, according to Deloitte.

This increase in spending along with shrinking hospital margins are pushing healthcare organizations into mergers and acquisitions. In fact, in 2018, there were 1,182 mergers and acquisitions, up 14.4 percent from 2017. That’s the largest amount of M&A deals in a single year. And in 2019, this trend will not slow down as healthcare organizations continue to consolidate organizations in order to grow with strength.

Rural healthcare continues to struggle

Despite rural communities measuring approximately 62 million Americans, access to healthcare services is becoming increasingly scarce for rural residents. Sadly, more and more rural healthcare facilities continue to close. Since 2010, 107 rural hospitals have closed, according to the University of North Carolina Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. And according to a recent report from Navigant, nearly 21 percent of rural hospitals are at high risk of closing.

This is even more troubling when you think about the low physician-to-rural resident ratio. To illustrate, the patient-to-primary care physician ratio in rural areas is only 39.8 physicians per 100,000 rural residents. However, the ratio is much greater in urban areas, measuring in at 53.3 physicians per 100,000 residents. In other words, rural residents have significantly smaller access to healthcare services than those living near cities. As a result, rural residents must make the commute, which in some cases can be hours, to the nearest physicians. Quicker access to medical treatment drastically improves survivability and speed of diagnoses, and thus, saves lives. As more rural healthcare facilities close, more and more rural residents fail to get the medical treatment they need.

How rural healthcare can combat these trends

However, many rural healthcare organizations are finding ways to buck these struggles by finding new leadership that will facilitate growth. A great example of this is Meeker Memorial Hospital in Litchfield, MN. For years, Meeker Memorial struggled with shrinking margins, outdated technologies, and a failure to attract great leadership to the hospital. However, Meeker Memorial’s Board of Directors hired a talented CEO, Mark Madden, who had a growth-oriented mindset with an eye for politics. In Madden’s seven-year tenure, he restored Meeker Memorial back to profitability and generated funding for a massive expansion of the hospital.

In other words, with the right leadership and talent, rural healthcare facilities are overcoming these hurdles. This is one of the many reasons that we are passionate about partnering with rural health systems. Our healthcare team of recruiters specializes in rural health and can help you find talent, like Madden, to help fight the struggles rural health is facing. We understand how essential it is for you to have the best non-clinical staff on the market in order to serve your communities and stay strong.

Get the talent your team needs

These healthcare trends have no signs of slowing down in the second half of 2019. If your organization is feeling the pressure to find new talent, reach out to our expert team of healthcare recruiters. Our team specializes in recruiting for rural healthcare facilities, and we understand your struggles and can help you source the talent you need to keep your operations running smoothly. Contact a recruiter today and let us help you find the candidates you need to keep up with the ever-changing world of healthcare.