Thursday, April 6, 2023

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, 2022, more than 98.5 million Americans lived in primary care HPSAs as designated by the HRSA.  The five-state Rocky Mountain region accounted for just over 3.7% of the U.S. population who lived in primary care shortage areas, and about 3.4% of the overall national shortage of primary care providers.  The HRSA estimates that to eliminate the shortage Rocky Mountain region HPSAs would need 586 additional primary care physicians.  A closer examination of 12/31/22 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 132 1,233,403 224
ID 105 573,749 100
MT 152 511,008 93
UT 71 1,147,454 145
WY 44 186,622 24
Region 504 3,652,236 586
U.S. 8,294 98,537,257 17,065

(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, 12/31/22 (HRSA)

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