Friday, December 18, 2020

The Dental Care Shortage in the MidEast Region

September 2020 data released from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) revealed that nearly 60 million Americans lived in a dental care Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). An HPSA is a geographic area, population group, or facility where access to healthcare services is substandard because it lacks a sufficient number of primary care, dental care, or mental health care providers. With respect to dental care, HRSA designation criteria is based upon the number of people living within the HPSA relative to the number of dental care providers that service the area. "Dental Care" providers, for HRSA purposes, include dentists and dental auxiliaries (any non-dentist staff employed by the dentist to assist in the operation of the practice). Although the population-to-provider ratio needed to qualify for designation varies by HPSA type (geographic, population or facility), all HPSAs with a dental care shortage designation have a population-to-provider ratio that meets or exceeds certain thresholds set by federal regulations. Areas receiving a dental care shortage designation by the HRSA are eligible to participate in federal programs aimed at attracting more dental care providers to work with these communities. As of September 2020, nearly 6,500 areas or settings had been designated as dental care shortage areas by the HRSA.  The HRSA estimates that these HPSAs would need about 10,700 additional dental care providers to eliminate all such designations.

HPSAs in the MidEast region account for about 10.5% of the U.S. population who live in dental care shortage areas and about 10.9% of the national shortage of dental care providers. The HRSA estimates that HPSAs in the MidEast region would need more than 1,160 additional dental care providers in order to eliminate the dental care shortage in the region. Here is a summary look at the dental care shortage in the MidEast region of the United States:

The Dental Care Shortage in the MidEast Region

The Dental Care Shortage in the MidEast Region
State (1) HPSAs (2) Population (3) Shortage
DC 12 82.9 21
DE 10 178.1 50
MD 42 835.3 148
NJ 35 39.8 17
NY 132 3,165.3 655
PA 153 1,987.5 277
Region 384 6,288.9 1,168
U.S. 6,487 59,941.1 10,716

(1) Designated Geographic, Population Group and Facility HPSAs with a dental care shortage
(2) Population of designated HPSAs, in thousands
(3) Dental Care practitioners needed to remove HPSA Designation

Source:  Designated HPSA Quarterly Summary, 9/30/20 (HRSA)