How do you spell JOBS? S-T-I-M-U-L-U-S, that’s how! And President Barack Obama’s stimulus package, officially called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, includes multiple components designed to provide relief in the form of JOBS for the health care industry. The measure includes $500 million to stimulate public health jobs and will also be used to improve and upgrade community health centers. It will advance programs that encourage preventive care, such as mammograms, Pap smears and immunizations. Money is included to fight infection and to get a better control on chronic conditions like heart failure, diabetes and high blood pressure from which many Americans suffer. Under the new plan, $1.1 billion will be set aside for research on drugs, surgery, medical devices and treatments for other individual conditions. This means more JOBS for skilled Medical Assistants, Certified Nursing Assistants, Nurse Technicians and Medical Insurance Billing & Coding specialists. There is a temporary $87 million increase in the Federal Medical Assistance percentage that ensures that no state has to cut eligibility for Medicaid, the health program for eligible individuals and families with low incomes and resources. Nor will eligibility be cut for SCHIP, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program that gives matching funds to states to provide health insurance to families of modest incomes that are too high to qualify for Medicaid. This means that the demand for the full range of skilled medical personnel will perpetuate as services will remain available to eligible individuals and families. There will be no loss in JOBS due to reduction in the volume of Medicaid patients and should lead to increased staffing. The legislation put $20 billion dollars towards increasing the amount of physicians who use electronic record keeping. Experts are confident that this will save lives and money and provide jobs to those who assist in these practices in the electronic record keeping capacity. Shifting medical records to an online application is intended to improve coordination of care, decrease errors and waste, as well as improve safety. The program will provide financial help for small physicians’ practices to facilitate their entry into the digital Age. Presently, the cost for one practice to convert to electronic record keeping is $50,000. This means that there should be a dramatic upsurge in JOBS for front end personnel to assist with the new electronic record keeping procedures. The stimulus package will have a dynamic impact on JOBS in the health care industry and provide relief for those whose career future depends upon it.
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