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Some 32 million people are expected to gain insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and many of them will have been without healthcare previously. They won't be simple cases, Karlene Kerfoot [vice president of nursing at API Healthcare] said. And many of them will also face socioeconomic challenges that are boosting demand for non-clinical healthcare jobs in community health, patient navigation and health IT.
~ Deanna Pogorelc, "Where patients go, healthcare jobs follow: In 2014, they’re shifting outside of the hospital," MedCity News, December 23, 2013
This emerging field [of Patient Navigation] is one that holds great promise, offering a win-win solution for many challenges faced by patients and healthcare providers. The patient experience is improved, healthcare professionals spend more time doing the work they were trained to do, and providers save money. At the same time navigation has the potential to provide a new employment avenue in a tightening job market.
In the coming years, navigation will grow and evolve as more providers realize the value navigators bring to the healthcare team. Their role will become even more important as medical care becomes more advanced. Yet, despite the developments sure to come down the road, at its core will always be the navigators’ passion to care for people, their drive to go above and beyond, and their commitment to healthcare.
~ The Center for Health Affairs, Issue Brief: The Emerging Field of Patient Navigation, December 2012
Frontline and nonclinical healthcare jobs are growing in number, complexity, and importance prompted by increased demand in the wake of the baby boom retirements, information technology innovation, and the Affordable Care Act. Typical positions include community health workers, medical assistants, medical office specialists, medical records technicians, office supervisors, and patient navigators—and these six positions are projected to add over 2 million new job openings this decade, with growth rates ranging from roughly 20 to 40%.
Education and job requirements vary, but often demand some post-secondary education such as an associate degree, certificate, or sometimes a bachelor’s degree. These positions are taking on a broader set of work skills than their traditional roles often have in the past, requiring specific and technical communication and information skills, teamwork abilities, an increased understanding of the healthcare system, and information technology fluency....
The new role of patient representative or patient navigator is significantly broader and more complex than the traditional “customer service” roles of the past. These positions range from local or program-specific patient advocates who help cancer patients navigate through an increasingly complex menu of care, to the formal roles required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which “formalized and strengthened the role of patient navigators”...
~ College for America, Workforce Strategy Report: Rise of the Medical Assistant and Five Other Frontline and Nonclinical Healthcare Jobs That Are Growing In Number, Complexity, and Importance, November 2013