Monday, January 10, 2022

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, 2021, more than 86.4 million Americans lived in areas or settings designated by the HRSA as primary care HPSAs.  The six New England states were home to 1.382 million people who lived in a primary care HPSA, accounting for just under 1.6% of Americans who lived in primary care shortage areas.  The HRSA estimates that to eliminate this primary care shortage, New England HPSAs would need 226 more primary care physicians.  As such, New England accounted for about 1.5% of the national shortage of primary care physicians.  A closer study of 12/31/21 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 65 514,225 108
ME 75 108,689 20
NH 30 161,953 18
RI 13 151,748 17
VT 15 13,902 2
Region 241 1,382,383 226
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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