Saturday, January 1, 2022

The Rocky Mountain Region's Primary Care Shortage

A geographic area, population group, or facility that has poor access to basic medical care because it lacks a sufficient number of primary care physicians can be designated a primary care health professional shortage area (HPSA) by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).  As of December 31, 2021, more than 86.4 million Americans lived in primary care HPSAs as designated by the HRSA.  The five-state Rocky Mountain region accounted for just over 3.6% of the U.S. population who lived in primary care shortage areas, and about 3.7% of the overall national shortage of primary care providers.  The HRSA estimates that to eliminate the shortage Rocky Mountain region HPSAs would need 562 additional primary care physicians.  A closer examination of 12/31/21 HRSA data reveals the following about the Rocky Mountain region's primary care shortage:


The Rocky Mountain Region's Primary Care Shortage

The Rocky Mountain Region's Primary Care Shortage


State (1) HPSAs (2) Population (3) Shortage
CO 123 1,161,323 259
ID 101 571,646 98
MT 143 422,601 78
UT 66 783,207 103
WY 46 185,652 24
Region 479 3,124,429 562
U.S. 7,613 86,473,101 15,184

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

Source:  Designated HPSA Quarterly Summary, 12/31/21 (HRSA)

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