Saturday, February 12, 2022

America's Primary Care Shortage by Region

As of December 31, 2021, more than 86.4 million Americans lived in a primary care health professional shortage area (HPSA) according to data from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).  A primary care HPSA is a population group, geographic area, or facility where residents have poor access to basic medical care because too few primary care physicians work in the area relative to the size of the population.  The HRSA estimates that HPSAs throughout the country would need over 15,100 more primary care physicians to eliminate the national primary care shortage.

Here is a summary look at America's primary care shortage by region (for state-level details, follow the "region" link):

Region (1) HPSAs (2) Population (3) Shortage
Far West 1,433 14,387,310 2,683
Great Lakes 947 11,648,412 1,680
Great Plains 1,113 4,700,856 980
MidEast 439 7,206,765 1,529
New England 241 1,382,383 226
Rocky Mountain 479 3,124,429 562
Southeast 1,937 28,697,494 4,646
Southwest 960 13,177,402 2,211
U.S. Territories 64 2,148,050 667
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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