Doctor and healthcare administrator walk through hospital

Article

Meeting the Demand for Healthcare Administration Workers in 2022

By Joseph Edwards, Director, Business Development, and Jason Jozsa, Business Development Executive

The Demand for Healthcare Workers

Across the board, staffing shortages are plaguing the U.S. healthcare system. In 2022 alone, nearly 2.2 million healthcare workers quit their jobs. In addition to physicians and nurses, the demand for healthcare administration workers is rapidly increasing. Healthcare providers, payers and research facilities are competing to recruit and retain a shrinking talent pool.

With responsibilities that include scheduling, accounting, finance, billing and coding, healthcare administration professionals play an essential role in the industry. In 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 32% growth in medical and health service management jobs through 2029. That explosive growth equates to more than 50,000 job openings annually — and does not even factor in growth stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandemic Pressures

Driving the demand for healthcare workers is an influx of patients seeking medical care. As part of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal relief measures such as Medicaid expansion and coverage subsidies significantly increased patient access to healthcare services, including mental health resources. As previously delayed elective surgeries and routine care are rescheduled, healthcare administration workers are needed to help clear the backlog and ensure patients receive quality care.

An Aging Population

The COVID-19 crisis also amplified longstanding concerns over the elderly population in the U.S. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are an estimated 73 million “Baby Boomers” who will be at least 65 years old by 2030. The medical needs of this generation, born between 1946 and 1964, are expected to further impact the healthcare system. Upward trends in life expectancy and an increased need for ongoing care are also contributing to the soaring demand for healthcare workers.

 

Reasons for Healthcare Professional Turnover

Healthcare workers at every level, including administrators, are exiting the workforce at an alarming rate. Employee burnout and a desire for greater flexibility are among the reasons for professional turnover. Additionally, lack of childcare across the U.S. remains an obstacle for parents of young children.

Burnout

For many healthcare workers the pandemic led to increased workloads, prolonged stress and low morale. Two years into the pandemic, medical and health services professionals continue to experience burnout — a term that has become closely associated with the pandemic. As a result, some are making the difficult decision to leave their profession in search of new opportunities outside the healthcare field.

Remote and Hybrid Options

The unprecedented shift to fully remote and hybrid models in the workforce also presents a recruitment and retention challenge. While a growing number of professionals prefer remote or hybrid options, many healthcare administration jobs still operate with a traditional in-person model. Unable to obtain the flexibility they desire, healthcare workers are opting to change occupations.

Childcare Concerns

The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected female workers — forcing many to step away from professional ambitions due to lack of available childcare. In 2019, women held 76% of all healthcare jobs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Today, nearly 2 million women remain out of the U.S. workforce, including those in healthcare roles.

Healthcare Recruitment Strategies

Amid labor shortages and increased competition for talent, it’s essential to prioritize your people. While there is no magic formula to attract talent, employers can implement these key strategies to foster a positive, healthy culture.

  1. Increase pay
    Ensure that pay and benefits are aligned to the market. Employers should also consider offering hiring bonuses, attractive benefits or other incentives that acknowledge the value and contributions of healthcare administration professionals.
  2. Prioritize communication

    Encouraging open communication and providing feedback can increase employee engagement and improve productivity. Communication is vital to a healthy workplace culture.

  3. Invest in workforce training

    Investing in employees can help reduce turnover. Learning opportunities such as training sessions and career development are excellent ways to help demonstrate loyalty to workers. Cross-departmental training can also empower employees to experience new roles, expanding their knowledge and skill set. 

  4. Develop paths for career advancement

    Engagement increases when employees know there is potential for career progression. By offering paths for professional growth and advancement, employers can increase workforce retention and attract new talent.

  5. Train entry-level employees

    Individuals with the right soft skills can often be trained to succeed in the healthcare space. While industry knowledge is generally preferred, traits such as empathy, work ethic and adaptability can easily be applied in healthcare roles. The time and training invested in a driven entry-level employee can be recouped as they grow into their role.

What Role Can Managed Solutions Play in Addressing the Healthcare Workforce Shortage?

In the current healthcare climate, the process of recruiting and hiring healthcare administration workers can be daunting. Most hospitals and healthcare facilities are understaffed and lack the resources required to successfully onboard, train and manage new employees.

Fortify Infrastructure

A managed solutions provider can offer a strong infrastructure to achieve recruitment and retention goals. In addition to expanding access to a national pool of qualified candidates, they can efficiently drive new hire selection, onboarding and managerial oversight. Reinforcing technology and operations needs can also help avoid technical issues, system failures and other major delays in the onboarding process.

Prevent Burnout

With employee burnout on the rise, managed solutions reduce the workload on current employees who are traditionally responsible for onboarding and training. Acknowledging the contributions of these employees and lessening their workload benefits talent retention.

The right managed solutions provider can ensure new healthcare administrators feel valued and supported, and that they receive the training necessary for professional success. A positive onboarding and training experience increases the likelihood that new employees will stay on the job.

In an increasingly demanding field, managed solutions provide the relief and support hospitals and healthcare facilities need to meet patient demand now and in the future. To discuss how Aston Carter can partner with your organization to meet these challenges, reach out to us.  

Interested in learning more about strategies for hiring healthcare administrators in accounting and finance roles? Read this article on Accounting and Finance Hiring in Healthcare: No Stone Unturned.

Having been with Aston Carter and its affiliates for over 26 years, Joe Edwards leads Aston Carter’s Health team. In his role, he helps drive healthcare strategy and talent solutions for payer, provider and health services clients across the country.

With over a decade at Aston Carter supporting the healthcare industry, Jason Jozsa leads the Managed Solutions offering in the health space. Focused on enhanced offerings within revenue cycle, patient access and hospital administration, Jason and his team provide added infrastructure and capabilities to health systems.