Healthcare reform will bolster demand for specialists as more people gain coverage
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) April 14, 2012
Demand for the Specialist Doctors industry has been on the rise in recent years, causing growth in revenue, employment and wages. Demographic trends, such as the aging population, along with increasing occurrences of chronic diseases, have fostered this demand. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Sophia Snyder, “These factors contributed to growth during each of the five years to 2012.” As a result, revenue is expected to increase 2.8% per year on average to $428.5 billion, which includes growth of 2.6% in 2012. While growth decelerated during the recession as unemployed individuals lost insurance coverage and disposable income fell, annual industry revenue continued to grow during 2008 and 2009, mainly because healthcare is less discretionary than other purchases.
In 2012, revenue growth is expected to remain sluggish due to the ongoing poor economic environment. Additionally, the industry has been burdened with cost pressures, including rising labor and liability expenses and the costs of advancing technology. These trends pressured operating profit margin down in 2012. In response to heightened costs, specialists are increasingly working in group practices, evidenced by a fall in the number of industry operators, which declined an average annual rate of 0.5% to 323,281 from 2007 to 2012. There are no major players with over 5.0% of the market in the Specialist Doctors industry; however, more and more doctors are choosing to work in group practices rather than operate independently.
The growing demand for specialist services has caused income for specialists to increase, which motivates more medical students to train as specialists. “Consequently,” says Snyder, “regulators and government authorities are forecast to structure reimbursements to encourage more students to become generalists in the coming years.” This potential regulation, which is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (i.e. healthcare reform), could dampen industry profitability in the future. Other aspects of healthcare reform will likely influence the industry as well, including a change to reimbursement levels in the government's healthcare programs Medicare and Medicaid.
While the economic environment is forecast to improve during the next five years, operating profit is forecast to remain pressured through 2017. Meanwhile, healthcare reform will bolster demand for industry services as more people gain healthcare insurance coverage. The aging population will also contribute to strong growth. The uptick in patients will help boost revenue during the next five years. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Specialist Doctors report in the US industry page.
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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics
A specialist doctor is a physician whose practice is limited to a particular branch of medicine or surgery. This industry includes establishments or health practitioners with a doctor of medicine (MD) or doctor of osteopathy (DO) degree. They primarily practice specialized medicine (e.g. anesthesiology, oncology and ophthalmology) or surgery. The industry does not include general practitioner family doctors or mental health specialists.
Key External Drivers
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Globalization & Trade
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