Employment at ambulatory and outpatient centers increased by 27,400 jobs last month, or about 1,300 fewer jobs compared with February. Many of those ambulatory jobs (9,600) were created at home health agencies. Doctors' offices increased their payrolls by 6,000 people in March.
Hospital hiring has slowed since the beginning of the year, but inpatient facilities still added 10,200 jobs last month, according to preliminary figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (PDF). U.S. hospitals employ more than 5 million people, including executives, doctors, nurses, coders and other staff.
In contrast to hospitals and outpatient offices, employment growth was nonexistent among nursing homes and residential-care facilities. That sector lost a net of 800 jobs. The job cuts stemmed from the nursing home industry, which slashed 3,200 positions in March.
Overall U.S. payrolls increased by 215,000 workers last month. Robust hiring also means more people are gaining job-based health insurance. However, employers have gradually scaled back benefits and increased deductibles, putting more out-of-pocket healthcare costs on workers. More companies also are moving to self-insurance, meaning they take on risk by directly paying for employees' medical costs and outsource the administrative work to health insurers.