Major US healthcare workforce shortages predicted in every state by 2026, mental health professionals increasingly in demand, Mercer report says
NEW YORK–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Even before COVID-19, the healthcare workforce in the United States faced remarkable challenges, with demand for healthcare professionals outstripping supply. As the United States continues to fight the pandemic, these healthcare professionals will be in even greater demand. Mercer’s “2021 Outpatient Healthcare Labor Market Analysis” released today identifies four key trends impacting the US healthcare labor market over the next five and ten years, and reveals how the health sector must adapt to cope with future labor shortages.
“Healthcare workers are exhausted after a nearly two-year confrontation with COVID-19. The demands placed on healthcare workers since the start of the pandemic have been relentless and, overall, this data shows that there will not be enough healthcare workers to meet the demand for the foreseeable future. Said John Derse, healthcare industry leader, Mercer. “This impact will be felt by all of us, no matter where we live or where we work.
The exact deficit depends on the specific role and geography, but a few common themes emerge: The United States is losing healthcare professionals to burnout and at a faster rate than expected, a significant portion of physicians contemplate. to retire, and there will be a surge in demand for short-term, low-wage mental health professionals and health workers. Every state is different, and every healthcare system must assess how anticipated projections of their external labor markets will ultimately affect workforce strategies and patient outcomes in the years to come.
1. There will be a shortage of healthcare workers at the bottom of the salary scale, which will have a direct impact on access to home care
Around 9.7 million people are currently working in critical health professions, albeit with lower pay (eg medical assistants, home health aides, nursing assistants, etc.). The need for these workers is likely to grow in the years to come, as the aging population will increase the demand for healthcare workers as the healthcare workforce leaves these professions for good. In fact, Mercer’s research shows that more than 6.5 million people will leave this essential workforce permanently in the near future. The result – a substantial shortage of workers over the next five years. New York and California will experience the greatest labor shortages of this workforce, each expected to lose more than 500,000 workers by 2026. Only a few states across the country are expected to have a workforce. surplus among low-wage health workers, especially Washington, Georgia. and South Carolina.
2. Primary care will increasingly be provided by non-physicians
The landscape of primary care and the way primary care services are delivered is expected to change over the next five years, as 21% of family physicians, pediatrics and obstetricians / gynecologists and other primary care physicians will reach the age of retirement. Yet the demand for primary care physicians will increase by more than 4% over the same period. The result will be a shift towards primary care provided by physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs).
3. There will be significant nursing shortages in more than half of the US states, but a surplus in parts of the South and Southwest.
Just over 3 million people work as registered nurses in the United States and the demand for these professionals will increase by at least 5% over the next five years. With nearly a million workers expected to leave the profession for good, more than half of U.S. states will not be able to meet the demand for nursing talent. The biggest expected nursing shortages will be in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Colorado, Illinois and Massachusetts. However, in the South and Southwest, new entrants into the local nursing workforce are likely to outstrip local demand due to new graduates and historical migration patterns. States like Georgia, Texas and South Carolina could begin to build a surplus of registered nurses in the workforce.
4. A rush to hire mental health providers will emerge by 2026
There will be a 10% increase in the demand for mental health workers by 2026. Meanwhile, 400,000 are expected to leave the profession completely, leaving twenty-seven states unable to meet the demands. applications for the hiring of skilled and semi-skilled psychiatric workers. health workers. While Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, California and Colorado are expected to experience the greatest shortages of these professionals, Washington, Texas, Ohio, Florida and Georgia will each create a surplus due to a constant flow of new entrants and the fact that people in these regions are leaving mental health professions at a slower rate than in other states.
“While hospitals and health systems cannot control what happens in the external labor market, effective internal workforce planning and management can help mitigate their exposure to these risks. Workforce strategies that will position an employer for long-term success should focus on transforming models of care, rethinking compensation and benefits, and introducing more flexibility in staffing, development and rewards, ”Derse added. “Before the pandemic, the shortages were due to a healthcare population that tended to age, be sicker and be more sedentary. Employers shouldn’t wait to transform their retention models to accommodate all of the demographics of their workforce affected by the pandemic, especially aging skilled professionals who are considering early retirement. ”
Click here to view an interactive map of five-year U.S. healthcare workforce projections for six types of healthcare providers.
About the 2021 External Healthcare Labor Market Analysis
Based on Mercer’s research, publicly available data, and data provided by Emsi, the 2021 external healthcare labor market analysis examined the evolution of healthcare labor markets over the years. next five to ten years in all 50 states at the national, regional and national levels. The interactive map here presents a small subset of the healthcare workforce at a large geographic level and information from Mercer and other Marsh McLennan companies based on proprietary database of over 80 healthcare roles, projected over 10 years at the county and metropolitan statistical area levels. If you want to know more, click here.
Mercer believes in building a better future by redefining the world of work, reshaping retirement and investing outcomes, and unleashing real health and wellness. Mercer’s approximately 25,000 employees are based in 43 countries and the company has operations in 130 countries. Mercer is a company of Marsh McLennan (NYSE: MMC), the global leader in professional services in the areas of risk, strategy and human resources, with 78,000 colleagues and annual revenues of over $ 18 billion. dollars. Through its market-leading companies including Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman, Marsh McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit mercer.com. Follow Mercer on LinkedIn and Twitter.
About Marsh McLennan
Marsh McLennan (NYSE: MMC) is the global leader in professional services in the areas of risk, strategy and human resources. The Company’s 78,000 employees advise clients in 130 countries. With annual sales of over $ 18 billion, Marsh McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment across four market-leading companies. Marsh provides risk advisory services and data-driven insurance solutions to business and consumer customers. Guy Carpenter develops advanced risk, reinsurance and capital strategies that help clients grow profitably and seize emerging opportunities. Mercer provides technology-driven advice and solutions that help organizations redefine the world of work, reshape retirement and investment outcomes, and unleash the health and well-being of a workforce. work in progress. Oliver Wyman is a key strategic, economic and brand advisor to the private sector and government clients. For more information, visit mmc.com, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter or subscribe EDGE.