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Tuesday, October 28, 2014


The nation faces “drastic shortages” of physicians in many specialties — especially internal medicine and psychiatry — but our government doesn’t seem to be doing much about it. “Affordable Care Act Fails to Address Physician Shortages — Here’s How We Can Better Deal with This Challenge,” looks at a new tool, The FutureDocs Forecasting Tool, underwritten by The Physicians Foundation, that can help us figure out where to focus. “Unlike previous estimates of supply and demand, FutureDocs projects shortage and surplus by how well physician supply matches use of physician services; which in turn can be used to understand what type of care patients will need in the future and which geographies are experiencing greater imbalances in supply and distribution of physicians,” Physicians Foundation CEO Tim Norbeck and I wrote. “For example, while Rochester, Minnesota, the home of the Mayo Clinic, may be projected to have a surplus of specialists, Slidell, Louisiana is projected to have a significant shortage. What’s needed now is a scientific assessment of the supply and demand for health care services upon which to build the necessary health care infrastructure to ensure the health of the U.S. population.”

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