CEPR to Investigate Restructuring in the Health Industry and Implications for Less Skilled Workers

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CEPR to Investigate Restructuring in the Health Industry and Implications for Less Skilled Workers

WASHINGTON - The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) is launching a project to understand the impact of health care restructuring on the quality of jobs and economic security of low-paid health care workers. Of particular interest is how pay and working conditions change as jobs shift from hospitals to lower-cost outpatient facilities – and whether these changes differentially affect workers by gender, race, ethnicity, age, and education. The research will also address whether different management approaches lead to better or worse outcomes for these workers. 

This project is funded by a $250,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and will be completed by November 30, 2017. CEPR’s Senior Economist Eileen Appelbaum and Cornell University’s Rosemary Batt will lead the project. 

Dr. Appelbaum and Professor Batt will analyze nationally representative data sets on employment by industry and occupation, will conduct case studies of health care systems, and will interview managers, workers, and union leaders to understand the nature and significance of this shift in jobs from hospitals to outpatient care centers. “We want to understand what is happening to the work schedules, skill demands, wages, and benefits of workers in outpatient facilities compared to those employed in similar jobs in hospitals,” said Professor Batt. 

“We are interested in learning whether it matters if workers in outpatient facilities are employees of an integrated health care system or if they are employed by a company that contracts with hospitals to provide outpatient services,” added Dr. Appelbaum. 

The researchers have a distinguished history of analyzing industry restructuring and are well-positioned to investigate the organizational and employment implications of the decentralization of health care services.

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The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) was established in 1999 to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives. In order for citizens to effectively exercise their voices in a democracy, they should be informed about the problems and choices that they face. CEPR is committed to presenting issues in an accurate and understandable manner, so that the public is better prepared to choose among the various policy options.

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