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Boomer Retirement Impact on Medical Transcription and the Health Care Industry

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Medical transcription has been under siege by off-shoring and technology advances for the last several decades. However, there is a perfect storm brewing and it is just now beginning to arrive at our shores. Just when the pundits were ready to give up on the medical transcription industry, the tidal wave of baby boom retirees is officially upon us.

The baby boom generation has typically been defined as individuals born in the United States between 1946 and 1964. In the years following World War II, the United States experienced a sharp increase in births. This high birth rate trend continued relatively unabated for almost two decades. After 1964, there was a precipitous drop off in the birth rate. The following 20 years brought about a baby bust with relatively few babies born by comparison.

This sharp generational contrast in birth rates has much to do with the hype surrounding the baby boom generation. There are a lot of reasons that the baby boom generation matters. Demographically, boomers make up a significant and influential portion of the population. Perhaps most importantly, the earliest baby boomers are now reaching retirement age. In 2011, those born in 1946 will turn 65 and begin to usher in a new era of social and economic upheaval that will sweep over the country like a tsunami.

No where will the impact of the retiring boomer generation be felt more acutely than in the health care arena. Health care and medicare resources, currently operating at full capacity, will feel the additional strain and burden of increasingly large waves of elderly retirees over the next two decades. Shortages of trained nurses, physicians, allied health professionals, medical transcriptionists and medical coders, will create both problems and opportunities.

Problems will arise as the population competes for increasingly scarce health care resources. Opportunities will present themselves for individuals willing to get the training needed to enter the exploding health care field. Both the problems and the opportunities will be magnified by the fact that many individuals who are currently practicing in the health professions are themselves part of the boomer retiring generation! As these seasoned health practitioners exit the health care industry en masse, wages will rise and the expenses of caring for the aging population will increase exponentially.

Get ready!

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