Is Healthcare Headed For A Shortage?

03 Dec, 2019 F.J. Thomas

                               

In light of the rash of hospitals closing due to financial woes, and a recent report from Kaiser Family Foundation ranking primary care provider shortages by state, the future of healthcare appears to be uncertain. If you’re in California or Texas, it could be difficult to find a provider, depending on what county you’re in.

For an area to qualify as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), the patient ratio to provider has to be at least 3,500 to 1. In areas where there are other needs, the ratio is lowered to 3,000 to 1.

The Kaiser Family Foundation gathered data from Bureau of Health Workforce, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to rank states according to their need for more primary care providers. The report also ranked states by the need for mental health, and dental providers as well.

The top five states with the highest number of shortage areas for primary care providers includes  

  • California – 655 areas
  • Texas – 432 areas
  • Missouri – 344 areas
  • ·Michigan -323 areas
  • Florida – 278 areas

The Kaiser report concluded that there are 7,578 areas in need of more primary care providers, covering a population of 77,565,566. According to the report, a total of 14,087 additional primary providers are required to meet the need. Rural areas made up 62 percent, and non-rural areas made up 31 percent of the total need.

While California had the highest number of areas with need, Florida ranked number one for highest number of providers needed at 1,608. California came in second with a total of 1,443 providers needed, and New York at 1,108. Texas ranked fourth with 853 providers needed.

A total of 6,069 areas did not have enough mental health providers. According to the report, an additional 6,166 mental health providers are needed to cover the population of 112,948,897 in those areas. Very similar to the primary health statistics, rural areas accounted for 61 percent of the total areas of need. Non-rural areas made up 31 percent of the areas of need.

Region 5, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin had the highest numbers of areas that need more mental health providers at 932. Southeastern region 4 reported 913 areas that need more mental health providers in the states of Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, and the Carolinas.

 


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    About The Author

    • F.J. Thomas

      F.J. Thomas has worked in healthcare business for more than fifteen years in Tennessee. Her experience as a contract appeals analyst has given her an intimate grasp of the inner workings of both the provider and insurance world. Knowing first hand that the industry is constantly changing, she strives to find resources and information you can use.

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