Saturday, January 22, 2022

The Southeast's Primary Care Shortage

As designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a primary care health professional shortage area (HPSA) is a geographic area, population group, or facility where residents have inadequate access to basic medical care because too few primary care physicians service that population.  As of December 31, 2021, more than 86.4 million Americans lived in HRSA designated primary care HPSAs.  With nearly 28.7 million residents living in primary care shortage areas, the twelve-state Southeast accounted for just over 33% of the U.S. population who lived in primary care HPSAs as of 12/31/21.  The HRSA estimates that to eliminate this shortage, Southeast region HPSAs would need over 4,600 additional primary care physicians.  A deeper examination of 12/31/21 HRSA data reveals the following state-level view of the Southeast's primary care shortage:

The Southeast's Primary Care Shortage
The Southeast's Primary Care Shortage

State (1) HPSAs (2) Population (3) Shortage
AL 104 2,286,895 301
AR 101 659,319 105
FL 279 6,582,652 1,561
GA 245 3,304,225 681
KY 192 1,459,320 202
LA 163 2,382,951 260
MS 158 1,829,836 284
NC 216 2,906,800 434
SC 101 1,989,344 207
TN 134 2,359,490 256
VA 131 2,150,191 216
WV 113 786,471 139
Region 1,937 28,697,494 4,646
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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