The number of new healthcare jobs added in July was 35.1 percent lower than the previous month, with the addition of only 27,900 jobs. The number of new jobs within the hospital sector increased in July, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, adding 15,700 new positions. However, 2015 has been a tumultuous year for the hospital industry, with highs and lows in the job market. As healthcare’s largest and most traditional employer, many hospitals have been reducing staffing numbers over the past few years in the face of the ever evolving healthcare market. With the institution of the Affordable Care Act, the trend towards Accountable Care Organizations and the focus on patient population health, and the closing of many rural hospitals, hospitals are finding it difficult to meet new patient needs and are seeing their profit margins decrease. In fact from 2010 to 2014, 43 rural hospitals with more than a combined 1,500 beds closed. More and more, we are seeing healthcare organizations move away from the traditional hospital setting to more patient-centered facilities and delivery of care. Hiring at ambulatory centers, outpatient facilities, and home health organizations is rapidly expanding, transitioning away from the fee for service model of delivery of care towards preventive care and better care coordination. Furthermore, with technological advances in telemedicine, having to make a trip to the doctor’s office is becoming increasingly unnecessary for many health concerns. Throughout 2014, the hospital industry addressed its perceived shortcomings in the face of a newly conceived healthcare system. For example, with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and the gradual transition away from fee-for-service healthcare, hospitals “are becoming true health systems; they are buying physician practices, ambulatory centers, diagnostic centers, home care services, and durable medical equipment and wellness companies.” As hospitals evolve to meet the healthcare market of the future, there will be some trial and error of new systems. Turning to locum tenens companies during this state of change will allow hospitals to test out new models of care and new systems of delivery without having to commit to staffing a permanent provider. In fact, the number of hospitals that have reported using locum tenens physicians increased to 90 percent in 2013 from 73.6 percent in 2012. At Barton Associates, our mission is to help your facility succeed – no matter the environment or challenge you face. To find out more on how Barton Associates can help your facility, please visit BartonAssociates.com, or call us at 1-877-341-9606.