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    Health care IT jobs are on the rise as spending increases

    After years of parochial wrangling, the Massachusetts Legislature has passed a bill that will allow out-of-state winemakers and vintners to process online wine sales and ship it to the east coast, but not without a cost.

    Traditionally the third quarter in the health care sector is slow when it comes to adding new jobs. But in a survey posted by Fierce Health and Finance, along with rising health care costs there's been a hike in the number of health care jobs created, as well.

    Health care costs increase
    According to the survey, the overall costs of health care rose by 1.8 percent, well above the 12 month average of 1.3 percent. Altarum Institute, the company that conducted the survey, also found that hospital prices skyrocketed up to 2.1 percent while pharmaceutical spending jumped by 3.8 percent for the month of May.

    Much of the price expenditure rise was forecast as a result of the Affordable Care Act's implementation, according to Altarum. The current annual growth rate in the health care sector is 4 percent, according to the respondents and Altarum's director, Charles Roehrig, who  expects to see that figure rise.

    "The rise in healthcare prices and employment during the second quarter suggests that spending will rebound," said Roehrig. "However, we are still not detecting signs of the increases in utilization expected from expanded coverage under the Affordable Care Act and suspect the effect may be more incremental and gradual than first expected."

    Health care job hiring sees a spike
    In the month of June, according to the survey, health care hiring rose unexpectedly higher than projected. 21,000 new jobs were added throughout the industry, and that is well up from the sluggish pace set during the late winter months when jobs only grew by monthly rates of 2500. The survey didn't have any reasons for the unexpected growth, but it certainly added some optimism to, what had been, very slow growth rates. Hiring grew by 1.6 percent and that was slightly down from the overall trend in all other national sectors. That rate was another snail-like 1.9 percent.

    An interesting sidebar to the growth and spending rates was that hospitals only added 2200 additional jobs during the first half of the year, and they spent 2.1 percent more over the same time frame as last year. Ambulatory care, on the other hand, added more than 13,000 jobs throughout the industry, and health care staffing agencies are continuing to seek out qualified job seekers to fill those and other clinical positions while trying to beef-up the IT sector at the same time.