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Study: Need for NPs, other healthcare professionals expected to increase

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALBANY, N.Y. — With state-led Medicaid redesign and federal healthcare delivery reform under way in New York state, the demand for nurse practitioners, physicians assistants and other healthcare professionals is anticipated to continue to increase, according to a recent report by the Healthcare Association of New York State, which is a statewide hospital and continuing care association.

“This report highlights the need for the training and recruitment of healthcare professionals to ensure that communities across New York state are prepared for an increased demand for healthcare services in the coming years,” stated HANYS president Daniel Sisto, referring to the 2012 Nursing and Allied Health Care Professionals Workforce Survey Report.

The survey noted that — assuming the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is not repealed and millions of currently uninsured Americans gain access to health care — there will be a growing need for NPs and PAs, particularly in regions like upstate New York, where there currently is a shortage of primary care physicians.

To meet the expected increase in need for services, more than half of the hospital respondents anticipated growth in demand for healthcare professionals, with 57% indicating the expected need for NPs, 56% for PAs and 52% for registered nurses. Sixty-one percent of respondents indicated that nurse managers were very difficult to recruit.

Reflecting the increasing demand for NPs and PAs, 37% of responding hospitals indicated that NPs were very difficult to recruit and 40% stated that PAs were difficult to recruit. The reasons cited for the difficulty were shortages, geographic location and noncompetitive salary.

According to the report, NPs were much more difficult to recruit in upstate regions (53%) compared with downstate (24%), as were PAs (57% upstate compared with 25% downstate). Perceived shortages of these professionals were much more prevalent upstate, with 43% and 45% reporting shortages for NPs and PAs, respectively, compared with 10% downstate for both professionals.

The survey was conducted in collaboration with Greater New York Hospital Association, Western New York Healthcare Association, Rochester Regional Healthcare Association, Iroquois Healthcare Alliance, Northern Metropolitan Healthcare Association, Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council and the State University of New York Center for Health Workforce Studies.

HANYS represents 500 nonprofit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies and other healthcare organizations.

To view the entire report click here.

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Rite Aid closes debt refinancing offer

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid has closed an offering of new debt from which it plans to generate funding for a buyback of older debt, the retailer said Tuesday.

Rite Aid announced the closing of its offering of $421 million in senior notes with a 9.25% interest rate and due in 2020. The company plans to use money from the offering to buy back 9.375% senior notes due 2015. As of Monday night, $296.3 million worth of the old notes had been put up for sale.

The company announced on May 3 that it would offer $426 million in 9.25% senior notes due 2020, which it said it was offering as additional notes under an existing indenture for which it had issued $481 million in senior notes, also at a 9.25% rate and due 2020.

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Cesar rolls out Cookie Crunchies

BY Allison Cerra

FRANKLIN, Tenn. — Cesar is boosting its lineup of canine cuisine to include new bite-sized baked treats.

Cesar Cookie Crunchies, available in filet mignon and rotisserie chicken flavors, are treats shaped as mini bones, paw prints and hearts, and are 10 calories each, the company said.

"At Cesar, we know about the special relationship people share with their animal friends," said Tierney Monaco, brand director for Cesar. "With the new Cookie Crunchies, dog lovers can treat their pets to something special and delicious throughout the day, a moment of joy for your dog and for yourself."

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