Video: Locum Leaders/AMN Healthcare CEO Discusses Doctor Shortage on CNBC
Susan Salka, President and CEO of AMN Healthcare — the nation's leading healthcare staffing provider and parent company to Locum Leaders — was recently invited on CNBC's Mad Money to discuss the ongoing shortage of doctors and clinicians in the United States, and the implications of that shortage in the face of escalating numbers of insured Americans and a general surge in healthcare spending attributed to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
"Despite its flaws, the ACA has been doing a good job about getting more people health insurance," explains the show's host Jim Cramer. "Now that's led to a pretty dramatic increase in medical spending."
And that surge in medical spending is just one of the challenges facing the healthcare industry. Ms. Salka defines some others factors currently driving "utilization and demand" for doctors and clinicians:
• The Doctor Shortage. "About a third of physicians are 60 or older, so a good majority of them are going to begin to retire, and we don't have enough new physicians coming into the market," Ms. Salka told Mr. Cramer.
• An Improving Economy. Lower unemployment usually drives demand for healthcare services, Ms. Salka explains.
• The Aging Population. An older population creates more demand for healthcare services, particularly when more of those older Americans are now insured.
• Healthcare Industry Consolidation. Ms. Salka cites ongoing industry consolidation and the increased need for leadership that it's caused. (In response to this need for more healthcare leadership, AMN Healthcare has acquired a number of healthcare executive placement firms, as Ms. Salka explains in the video.)
Susan Salka: Shortage of Doctors & Clinicians 'Spans All Disciplines'
"The shortage of clinicians spans all disciplines," Ms. Salka told Mr. Cramer during their discussion. "We're at one of the highest gaps between job openings and job hires within healthcare today. And that means our clients are having challenges in hiring not only temporary but permanent staff. So we come in with a suite of workforce solutions to really help them all across that spectrum.
"It's really been an amazing burst that we've seen in demand," she added.
To view the complete conversation between Susan Salka and Mad Money's Jim Cramer, check out the above video. You can also submit a staffing request here, or learn more about the healthcare workforce solutions offered by AMN Healthcare here.
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