Physician scarcity anticipated by 2030 effective technology can help

Nov. 5, 2018

Physician demand continues to grow faster than supply, leading to a projected shortfall between 42,600 and 121,300 physicians by 2030 according to new research released by The Association of American Medical Colleges.

Existing practitioners have faced many challenges working with Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. Navigating can become a virtual minefield, peppered with regulations and requirements that frustrate physicians and their staff, with a limited choice of canned systems to choose from.

Tranquil money founder, Dr. Karun Philip points to the need for physicians to have software that works for them in navigating the EHR; not against them and their practice. Tranquilmoney provides their software and consulting services free for clients who also use their Medical Billing services-for which those services have been proven to yield an average of 20% increase in realized revenues.

Reasons for this deficit include an aging demographic of both the patient and physician populations, sprawling medical monoliths that absorb smaller practices by the thousands, and regulatory changes.

  • America’s aging population is expected to grow about 11% to 359.4 million by 2030. Population under age 18 will grow by only 3%, while population aged 65 and over will grow by 50%.
  • America has 2.3 physicians per 1000 people now ranking 52nd in the world and this ratio will become worse as the aging population grows. Forty percent of all currently active physicians will be 65 or older within the next decade; many are readying for retirement by cutting down their hours or actually leaving the workforce.
  • The trend of hospitals buying U.S. physician practices continues, with acquisitions of at least 5,000 independent physician practices between July 2015 and July 2016. From mid-2012 to mid-2016, percentage of hospital-employed physicians rose by more than 63%. In 2016, just 33 percent of physicians identify as independent practice owners or partners, down from 48.5% in 2012.
  • Regulations have come into play that restrict and govern medical practice management far more than in any earlier era. Unique for physicians are certain requirements surrounding electronic health records (EHRs) and new reporting regulations regarding patient visits.

There are many problems cited by physicians with using electronic records: they cost physicians an average extra 48 minutes per day. “Surprisingly, a third (33.9%) reported that it took longer to find and review medical record data” with electronic records management than without it.

Only 11% of physicians said electronic health records improved their interactions with patients, while 60% said they “detracted from patient interaction,” the Physicians Foundation noted in 2016.

More than half of surveyed physicians think electronic health records limit them from providing high quality care to patients.

With the growing population over 50, there is a large need for more private practicing physicians to help meet their healthcare needs. EHR’s should be able to make it easier to manage patients, save them time and deliver high quality care.

CBS News 8 has the full story

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