Demand for specialists will rise as more people gain healthcare coverage
(PRWEB) March 16, 2013
The Specialist Doctors industry has enjoyed a rise in demand in recent years, leading to increased industry revenue, employment and wages. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Austen Sherman, “This rise in demand has been fostered by an aging population and increasing occurrences of chronic diseases.” As a result, revenue has grown in each of the past five years, growing at an estimated annualized rate of 2.3% to $283.5 billion, including growth of 3.4% in 2013. While growth decelerated during the recession as unemployed individuals lost insurance coverage and disposable income fell, revenue continued to grow, mainly because healthcare is less discretionary than other purchases. In addition, many patients skipped primary care and attempted to self-diagnosis before visiting a specialist.
Despite rising revenue, the Specialist Doctors industry has been burdened with cost pressures, including rising labor and liability expenses and the costs of new technology. These trends have pressured the average operating profit margin down from their 2008 level. “In response to heightened costs, specialists are increasingly working in group practices, evidenced by a fall in the number of industry operators,” says Sherman. Therefore, although the industry remains highly fragmented, such consolidation has caused market share concentration to slowly increase over the period.
Due to high demand for specialist services, the average wage for a specialist doctor is typically high, which motivates more medical students to train as specialists; currently, only about 20.0% of medical students choose to enter primary care. Consequently, regulators and government authorities are expected to structure reimbursements to encourage more students to become generalists in order to cut down on the cost of care for Medicare and Medicaid patients. This potential regulation, which is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, could threaten industry profitability in the future.
While the economic environment is forecast to improve during the next five years, profit growth is expected to be mild through 2018. Meanwhile, an aging population and healthcare reform will bolster demand for industry services as more people gain healthcare insurance coverage. The uptick in patients will help revenue grow at a steady pace over the period. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Specialist Doctors in the US industry report 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.
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Globalization & Trade
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