Friday, April 14, 2023

New England's Primary Care Shortage

A geographic area, facility, or population group where residents have impaired access to basic medical care because the setting or area has too few primary care physicians relative to its population size can be designated a 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 areas or settings designated by the HRSA as primary care HPSAs.  The six New England states were home to nearly 1.4 million people who lived in a primary care HPSA, accounting for about 1.4% of Americans who lived in primary care shortage areas.  The HRSA estimates that to eliminate this primary care shortage, New England HPSAs would need 216 more primary care physicians.  As such, New England accounted for about 1.3% of the national shortage of primary care physicians.  A closer study of 12/31/22 HRSA data reveals the following about New England's primary care shortage:

New England's Primary Care Shortage

New England's Primary Care Shortage

State (1) HPSAs (2) Population (3) Shortage
CT 43 431,866 61
MA 68 528,050 99
ME 82 124,339 24
NH 30 161,596 17
RI 13 137,033 13
VT 16 13,902 2
Region 252 1,396,786 216
U.S. 8,294 98,537,257 17,065
% of U.S. 3.0% 1.4% 1.3%

(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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