Update on Affordable Care Act (ACA) Summary of Presentation at AACC Workforce Development Meeting
January 31-February 2, 2013
San Diego, CA
According to Ms. Roxanne Fulcher, Director, Health Professions Policy at AACC, most of the changes in the ACA will be effective in 2014. It is predicted that practitioners will work to the limits of their scope of practice. This includes nurse practitioners, medical assistants, physician assistants, etc. Primary care physicians will be in much shorter supply, thus necessitating the need for competent auxiliary personnel.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that an additional 700,000 registered nurses will be needed by 2020. As a result of the ACA, physician helper roles may change, with increasing autonomy. Currently, 13 community colleges have certificate programs in physician assistant and nationwide there will be an increase in enrollment in all PA programs. Emphasis in NP and PA programs will be on primary care.
There is also a predicted need for increased diagnostic health care workers (radiologic technology, nuclear medicine, CT, MRI, etc.) Most of these workers are educated in community colleges and two-year programs in four-year colleges.
It is estimated that there will be approximately 32 million more patients on ACA and they will be younger. With the greater need for primary care, this in turn will drive an increased need for workers in ambulatory and preventive care and services, with an increased demand in diagnostic testing.
Dr. Betty Young, President of Coleman College in Houston noted that the emergence of the concept of medical home may create additional job opportunities, possibly with the emergence of entirely new careers such as “scribe” for physicians who do not wish to chart with electronic means. There will also be new locations for primary care such as retail clinics, clinics within colleges and schools, telemed/monitoring, and new settings. There will also be an increased need for medical equipment and supplies, but a lot is unknown.