With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, many experts warned that jobs could be lost as employers reduced workers to part-time or were unable to afford staff in order to provide coverage for insurance. However, one area of industry is expected to grow, not only in the private sector but in government as well. Many reports show that the need for IT professionals as a result of the ACA is expected to grow tremendously over the next few years.
Electronic Medical Record Mandate
One reason for the increase in need for IT professionals is the requirement under the ACA that healthcare agencies implement electronic medical record programs for patients. For those seeking government work for information technology, those with some background in the medical field could find themselves with many job opportunities.
Health Insurance Exchanges
Although some of the new IT positions available due to the passage of the ACA will be in the private sector, many states are still struggling to launch health insurance marketplaces. In March 2014, the state of Maryland announced that they were scrapping their health insurance exchange and replacing it with one used by the state of Connecticut. Problems with the Maryland system and the switch to the new program could lead to additional IT positions available in the state. Other states, including Oregon, Minnesota and Hawaii have also faced problems with their health exchange system, further indicating a need for additional IT professionals who understand both information technology and healthcare.
IT professionals are also a growing profession in the private sector due to the ACA. Healthcare organizations implementing electronic medical records need individuals who understand the needs of patients, the needs of the practice and the requirements under the new regulations. Those with a strong background in these areas are highly-sought in the medical profession today, especially in the private sector where some physicians are still reluctant to move to an electronic patient record system.
Individuals who are interested in entering the information technology industry could benefit from gaining an understanding of the healthcare industry as well. With the passage of the ACA, those with an understanding of both will find that more job opportunities will become available, especially over the next few years as government and the private sector work to smooth out the wrinkles in the system.