How the ACA Will Help Boost Health Care IT Jobs

Photo of President Obama's signature on the Affordable Care Act.

For job seekers looking for a career in healthcare, implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is expected to help expand opportunities for candidates with IT experience.

Cheryl Camillo, a senior researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, told Government Technology News that the ACA will change the future of Medicaid, and will likely play a role in a number of areas including electronic medical records.From 2014 through 2019 there will be a substantial transformation of Medicaid due to ACA, Camillo told the news agency. "If it all works out, the Medicaid program in 2020 will be very different than it is today, especially in the eligibility and enrollment areas. The use of IT systems will be a significant part of that." According to Stanford University professor Alain Enthoven, health care technology will also change the way doctors interact with patients.Coaching and electronic exchange of information would replace many in-person visits, and patients would be encouraged to manage their own health, Enthoven noted.Meanwhile, Washington wants to get a closer look at the effects of technology on the medical sector. A new federal project will examine the relationship between health care IT and ambulatory workflow, Health Care IT News reports.The Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) study will specifically deal with the effects of the electronic health record (EHR) system and patient care for people with diabetes, hypertension and congestive heart failure. The study will also examine remote patient monitoring, increased patient contact with coordinators between hospital visits and patient episode alerts for staff members.The report comes at a time when many health care facilities and providers across the country are getting ready to move to, upgrade or reinstall their electronic record keeping systems.While many of these organizations are already staffed with IT departments, a number of them will need to hire workers with specific qualifications on their resumes, including professional certification and experience in cybersecurity, networking, processing and database management.A survey by the consulting firm Foote Partners earlier this year found that while many health care companies do not necessarily pay more for new hires with an IT certificate on their resume, they remain leery of bringing workers on board without the proper training.What we're seeing is that a lot of healthcare companies are afraid of hiring non-certified talent, health care staffing recruiter Brock Bauer told InformationWeek. "It's really more of a fear factor than a risk factor."


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