"The only thing I think could negatively impact the industry in terms of hiring is a shortage of workers, not a shortage of jobs."
As 2013 unfolds and Washington debates our nation's debt, spending, and taxes, healthcare spending will definitely be on the table, but there is little expectation that cuts at the federal level will impact hiring.
Healthcare will probably maintain its 20% portion of the economy, predicts Pauly, especially with the government's emphasis on a reduction of healthcare spending and recovery in other sectors continuing.
"There's a bit of a conflict of course, because the government wants to get healthcare spending under control, and almost all of healthcare spending comes from labor. That also means getting job growth under control in healthcare—now I don't know if that's optimistic or pessimistic—but I'm not sure if they're going to be all that successful in doing that," Pauly says.
That cost reduction focus will continue to translate to an increase in ambulatory care and outpatient staffing and services, as the emphasis for reducing spending also emphasizes reducing unnecessary hospital visits and tests, he says.