Sunday, April 30, 2023

The Great Plains' Primary Care Shortage

When residents of a geographic area, facility, or population group have poor access to basic medical care because too few primary care physicians are serving the area relative to its population size, the setting can be designated a primary care HPSA (health professional shortage area) by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).  As of December 31, 2022, the HRSA reported that more than 98.5 million Americans lived in designated primary care HPSAs.  The seven-state Great Plains region had 6.1 million residents who lived in a primary care shortage area as of 12/31/22.  This number represented about 6.2% of the U.S. population that was living in primary care shortage areas at that time.  The HRSA estimates that to eliminate the shortage Great Plains region HPSAs would need 1,221 additional primary care physicians.  As such, the region accounted for about 7.2% of the national deficit of primary care physicians.  A closer review of 12/31/22 HRSA data reveals the following state-level details about the Great Plains' primary care shortage:

The Great Plains' Primary Care Shortage

The Great Plains' Primary Care Shortage

State (1) HPSAs (2) Population (3) Shortage
IA 175 850,095 156
KS 190 823,846 133
MN 219 1,524,235 212
MO 363 2,294,436 600
NE 93 75,705 15
ND 93 229,048 49
SD 104 309,479 56
Region 1,237 6,106,844 1,221
U.S. 8,294 98,537,257 17,065
% of U.S. 14.9% 6.2% 7.2%

(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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