By Edwin L. Crammer, CPA ​With the “Affordable Care Act” now becoming the law of the land and it being fully in place starting with the beginning of this month, you will notice a number of changes in how you will be treated when you visit your doctor’s office for a checkup or to a hospital for one reason or another.
​For one thing the number of insured individuals will increase dramatically. Going along with this will be the corresponding increase in the need for services by not only those individual that were previously insured through an employer sponsored health insurance plan or through a myriad of individual plans that were available. Under the “Affordable Care Act”, otherwise known as “Obamacare,” many people who could not obtain health insurance because of pre-existing conditions can now obtain and are otherwise required to carry insurance.
​Because the number of individual that are covered by health insurance will grow in numbers in the next few years, the demand for services will increase correspondently.
​One other factor that will affect the way health care is doled out is the fact that the number of available doctors will decrease over the next decade. Surveys have shown that doctors are fed up with low reimbursement rates from Medicare and even lower from Medicaid. The result is that many doctors are refusing to take on any new patients that are on a government run plan. In addition, new heavy-handed regulations and requirements from both government and private health insurers that are now requiring time consuming and expensive administrative tasks. As a result nurses are now being called upon to provide more health care that doctors are now refusing to do.
​It should also be understood that in order to keep the costs of health insurance down, the government and private insurers will be looking for ways to perform those same services at a lower cost. This is where the nursing profession comes in. A census of current employment numbers show that the nursing sector gained 315,000 jobs during the year 2012.
​This is only going to get better for the field of nursing and other similar occupations. It is estimated that in the next ten years the need for nursing and psychiatric assistants will grow by about 18%. The need for registered nurses is expected to grow by about 22% in the same period. In fact the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the registered nurse (rn) will be the fastest growing profession in the next ten years.
​In order to meet this demand, nursing schools are ramping up their programs to increase their capacity to serve more students. I spoke to the director of a local Nursing school in Lauderhill, Florida, Carleen Noreus, that offers a number of nursing programs. The courses range in scope from a Nursing Assistant course to a Bachelors degree in Nursing. Carleen told me that the demand for admission to all of their programs is over the top. They currently have a waiting list to enter one of their programs.
​To this end the school recently decided to open two satellite campuses, one in Palm Beach and one upstate near Melbourne. The school officials told me that a number of students had been traveling to South Florida from up-state to attend the classes in Lauderhill, so attending an upstate campus will be more convenient for them.
​The starting salaries for an individual with a nursing degree, is not too shabby either. Although the salaries for Nursing Assistants and other minimal skill nursing occupations are modest, the starting salaries for Registered nurses and Nurse Practitioners is about $65,000 a year for Registered nurses and approximately $90,700 for a Nurse Practitioner.
One man’s comment on something not having to do with South Florida… For those of you that watch CBS’s terrific television show, “The Good Wife”. I cannot believe that the Principles in a highly sophisticated law firm as portrayed on the show did not have their 4th year associates sign a “Non-solicitation Agreement” as part of their contract with the firm. This would preclude them from stealing clients, don’t you think?. Oh! by the way, I cannot understand why CBS puts their best show on a Sunday night during Football season. My DVD player is not sophisticated enough to be able to figure it out, ouch!!!
​You may contact Edwin L Crammer at 954-742-8700 or by e-mail marced@fdn.com