Good News…. And Bad News

The Council of Economic Advisors released its report on jobs of the future yesterday. The good news is that the council expects robust growth of jobs in health care.

"Health care is forecasted to remain a large source of job growth in the labor market. The long-term trend toward more employment in health care is expected to continue, with many health care occupations, including medical records and health information technicians, registered nurses, clinical laboratory technicians, and physical therapists, expected to grow." Source

Sounds good. Ironically, the highest growth is expected in ambulatory services including home health care, where MedPAC has recommended large Medicare fee cuts.

The dark side of this forecast is that if there is robust growth in health care jobs – it means that we’ll keep on spending more on health care. This is consistent with the hospital and pharmaceutical agreements to save dollars over the next decade by lowering prices while expecting higher volume of compensated services. It’s not consistent with effective health care reform and universal access with lower overall costs.