Executive Searches Remain a Priority Under Affordable Care Act

February 14, 2017 – Uncertainty over how the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) will take shape could result in life sciences and healthcare companies assuming a ‘wait and see’ mode before investing capital dollars for executive hiring.

But the large number of people insured through the ACA has created additional demand for health service – in fact, the industry is in the midst of a turbulent transformation. This is increasing the need for proven boards and executive teams with vision more than ever.

Robust Demand

“One might imagine that recruiting for certain mid-level positions may be put on hold while we wait to see what will happen with President Trump’s healthcare reform efforts,” said Todd Drometer, a partner with Phillips DiPisa and Associates. “However, we do not see a slowdown in senior level executive recruiting at the highest levels.”

Recruiters insist the demand for senior executives is robust, and will remain that way, if not accelerate. Furst Group CEO Bob Clarke said a potential coming exodus of experienced leaders is one primary reason. “We know many senior level health system leaders, especially CEOs, who have recently retired or are planning to retire within the next 12 months.” That, of course, is music to any recruiters ears.

“In my experience, the ACA resulted in significant job creation,” said Brenda Doherty, a partner in the healthcare search practice of Buffkin/Baker. “Healthcare went from pay for service to pay for performance, turning the norm upside down,” she said. “This put clear lines of accountability for quality and value over volume.”

According to Mr. Clarke, executives seeking the right corporate fit are waiting to see how companies handle fallout from the ACA. “The whole discussion about replacing it or repealing it has set the industry back,” he said.

“Change ultimately creates jobs, but change will reshift focus and resources at the provider level,” said Ms. Doherty. “Unfortunately, without some indication of specifics, the unknown of ‘repeal and replace’ leaves providers, boards, communities and leaders unable to make informed decisions.” That stalemate is creating incredible uncertainty at every level.

But what is certain is this: Many functional roles in the sector experienced an uptick in hiring to make what is known as healthcare reform a reality. “Healthcare hiring has been one of the key drivers of the growing labor market, adding more than two million jobs since the end of the Great Recession,” said Tim Tolan, CEO of The Tolan Group.

Contributed by John Harris, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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