3 things you’ll learn from our health care library

While the debate on health care reform efforts plays out at a national level, its impacts are felt at a local level. Community colleges, which educate many of our nurses, technicians, and assistants, have to respond to shifts in the local health care industry. As conditions change due to reform and demographic shifts, Community College Executive Forum members often ask us how they can keep up.

As part of our broader set of resources to assist community colleges developing educational programs in the health care industry, the Health Care Publication Library provides members with the latest thinking on the industry’s most pressing strategic challenges. We’ve curated relevant studies, webconferences, articles, and cheat sheets to assist community colleges and 4-year continuing education units in understanding health care leaders’ challenges as a way to surface emerging educational needs.

Here are three health care lessons you will learn from the library:

1. Despite news coverage, there is bipartisan agreement in some parts of health policy

MACRA (the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015) builds on two of the Affordable Care Act’s primary goals: improving care quality and replacing the old Medicare reimbursement model. Like the Affordable Care Act, MACRA changes reimbursement standards for hospitals. Health systems are changing their procedures—and their staffing—to ensure financial stability under this model, which received overwhelming bipartisan support in both houses of Congress.

2. Nurses are doing more than ever before

If there is one concern common to most health systems across the country, it's that there are not enough nurses. Rather than wait for colleges to graduate more of them, health systems are retraining and reallocating work to make their current nurses more effective. Training and increased expectations are raising the bar for new nurses as a retirement wave looms.

3. Demographic change yields new staffing priorities

Aging patients’ need for continual care creates more demand for other low- and middle-skill health professions like home health aides and physical therapy assistants. Hospitals are struggling to source and retain those workers, which opens an opportunity for their partner colleges to build a more robust talent pipeline. This challenge has become a national imperative: Advisory Board recently partnered with the White House to identify best practices in training middle-skill health workers.

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