Before most of the Risk Management and Workers’ Comp industry goes to Philadelphia for next week’s Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) annual conference, I want to share an article on Kaiser Health News about what the recent executive order on H1-B visas will have on healthcare, and by extension, workers’ comp.
I wrote about this two weeks ago when I said that the travel ban will affect the physician shortage in the United States.
According to Kaiser, limiting the number of foreign doctors who can practice in the US could have a significant impact on certain hospitals and states that rely on them.
A study in JAMA found that more that 2,100 US employers were certified to fill nearly 10,500 physician jobs nationwide in 2016, representing 1.4% of physician workforce overall.
States such as New York, Michigan, and Illinois account for most of the H1-B visa applications for foreign physicians. a third of the total.
North Dakota, on the other hand, had the most applicants as a percentage of its workforce, or 4.7%.
While the focus of the executive order was to clamp down on the loopholes in the program that allowed tech companies to hire foreign workers for high skilled jobs that Americans could take, it will also have a negative effect on how patients will receive care in some US hospitals.
And coupled with the fact that the process of getting to practice here without an executive order is difficult and time-consuming, means that both general health care and workers’ comp patients may not be able to get necessary treatment due to the predicted physician shortage.
So while general healthcare can offer an alternative in the form of medical travel, it is high time that work comp does the same.
Or do you really want your claimant patients to wait months before getting needed surgery or other medical procedures?