- The healthcare industry added 45,200 jobs in April, the largest monthly increase so far this year. Hospitals accounted for more than a quarter of that total. Employment at hospitals went up by 11,800 last month, a 0.2% uptick from March and a 1.8% increase from April 2014, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nursing homes and residential-care facilities added 8,100 employees, reversing a two-month trend in which roughly 8,000 jobs were cut. Nursing homes specifically accounted for 3,000 newly created jobs. Ambulatory settings generated approximately 25,300 jobs, a 4% jump from April 2014. Within that category, physician offices increased their staffs by 9,300 people.
- Kaiser Permanente slowed its capital spending as it aims to get its costs under control. However, the first quarter of this year proved more challenging on that front and its operating margin dipped. In a short earnings release, the Oakland, Calif.-based system reported that its capital spending dropped to $740 million in the quarter, compared with $827 million during the same period last year. But the quarter still saw it open and renovate facilities in Colorado as well as Northern and Southern California. Kaiser also continued to add new members to its health plan, which now counts 10 million beneficiaries.
- The American Health Care Association announced eight new priorities with specific timelines to address nursing homes' performance on problems such as 30-day readmission rates, antipsychotic drug overuse and high rates of staff turnover. Dogged by accusations of poor quality, the nursing home industry has moved to drive improvements. The federal government has been strengthening its focus on nursing home safety in the wake of published reports identifying facilities with known quality problems that nevertheless received high marks under the CMS' five-star rating system.
Healthcare added more than 45,000 jobs in April, and other news
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