Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Physician Shortage Addressed

With retirement of doctors and the those that are leaving the profession because of the ObamaCare nightmare of demand regulations, the out look for the near future of health care in America is dim. The out look for health care in the distant future is grim at best.

How sad that America once had the best health care in the world by far, even better then Cuba's, but is now headed backwards into some dark place where individual freedom to chose is lost to corrupt bureaucrats.

A doctor I know several years ago said it was his duty to provide health care to all those that needed it even if he didn't get paid for his services. But now, today, given the magnitude of the demand for more services, he has changed is outlook and is considering early retirement.

How in the world did this happen and so quickly?

Fixing the Physician Shortage
Source: Thomas A Hemphill and Gerald Knesk, "The Non-Medical Remedy to the Physician Shortage," Regulation, Cato Institute, Summer 2015.

July 20, 2015

Over the last 10 years there has been increasing concern about an impending shortage of practicing primary care physicians in the United States, fueled by several factors, says Thomas Hemphill and Gerald Knesk.. These include:
  • A significant percentage of American physicians will reach retirement age by 2020.
  • An unprecedented growth in the number of Americans living beyond age 65.
  • An influx of up to 30 million Americans entering the health care system as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
There is also a projected shortage in practicing non-primary care physicians. This shortage will amount to around 33,100 physicians by 2015. Specifically there is a chronic shortage of psychiatrists in the United States. Yet, according to the AANP, as of 2013, only 3.2 percent of all nurse practitioners are certified as psychiatric mental health NPs.
To address this:
  • States that currently do not allow "full scope of practice" status for nurse practitioners should do so.
  • Telepsychiatry,  or providing mental health care via video technology, is a way of reducing the shortage. Removing regulatory barriers to this practice may help solve the shortages.
  • Standardizing the PA curriculum to two years and allowing the NCCPA, a private organization, to handle the requirements will help remove the current patchwork of requirements.
Through a combination of professional self-regulation and public regulatory reform measures, the authors argue that the shortage in non-primary care physicians can be partially alleviated.

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