New Trends in South Florida Healthcare Training: Employment Possibilities Grow at Unprecedented Rate
An increasing need for healthcare services, coupled with the national shortage of qualified workers, continues to fuel a huge demand for healthcare employees. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that the healthcare industry will add more than three million jobs in the coming years, with eight of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the healthcare industry. This need for qualified healthcare employees spans a wide range of fields including patient care, hospital and medical office administration, and insurance billing and coding. One fast-growing area of employment is back-office support for medical offices and hospitals, such as Medical Insurance Billing and Coding. Working through the complicated maze of insurance codes and claims is a must in the modern medical profession, but offices often lack trained staff members to take on these crucial administrative duties. This means that graduates of medical billing and coding programs are in high demand. Everest University, formerly Florida Metropolitan University (FMU) as of Nov. 5, reports that its healthcare programs continue to expand and adapt to meet rising student demand and industry changes. "The requirements of the insurance industry are constantly changing and evolving," said Lynda Auster, Medical Insurance Billing and Coding instructor at Everest University’s Pompano Beach campus. "In our Medical Insurance Billing and Coding program, we train students on the latest software and coding techniques to ensure that our graduates are ready to enter the workforce and able to immediately contribute to a medical office team." Patient care is also a rapidly growing job market as the number of aging Baby Boomers needing long-term and live-in medical care increases. Skilled patient care technicians are needed in South Florida and across the country. Positions for graduates of patient care programs are readily available in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. Healthcare administration offers excellent career prospects as well, considering many administrators are expected to retire in the coming years. "Changes in the healthcare industry have created a need for education that encompasses everything from legal and legislative reform to risk and financial management. We strive to equip aspiring administrators with up-to-date training that will allow them to meet the evolving demands of healthcare facilities and companies," says Anie Bonilla, Ph.D., Academic Dean at Everest University’s Pompano Beach campus. It is clear that the need for qualified healthcare employees has had an impact on educational institutions. Increasingly, the trend is to provide practical skills and workplace practicums and externships that offer real-world experience. Schools and universities offering healthcare training programs have evolved to meet changing student needs and industry demand. The Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools, which accredits Everest University in Florida, requires that 70 percent of graduates be employed in their fields of study. "One of our main goals is to help our graduates find employment upon successful completion of their program requirements," Auster added. Everest University officials agree that, no matter what the healthcare position, there’s an increasing need for skilled workers. "All economic indicators show that the needs in healthcare training will not wane any time soon," Auster said. "In fact, as the population continues to age, we can expect an even higher demand."