Doctor Shortage: Condition Critical (Results of HANYS' 2012 Physician Advocacy Survey)

Primary care physicians are at the forefront of a physician shortage that continues to worsen in New York State, according to HANYS’ 2012 Physician Workforce Survey. As the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance expansion takes effect and state Medicaid reform that encourages care coordination and population health is implemented, ensuring a sufficient number of physicians will be key to the success of these critical changes. It is vital that New York State have a comprehensive strategy to establish appropriate numbers of physicians to care for all New Yorkers.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Department of Health have made a strong commitment to primary care, not only through the creation of the Office of Primary Care, but through the entire Medicaid redesign process and the 1115 waiver. Building on this commitment will go a long way to ameliorate the problems New York health care providers currently face. Doctors Across New York (DANY) must continue to be funded at a level that will attract hundreds of physicians needed in under-served areas in New York State.

Key Findings

  • More than 1,200 physicians are needed including 374 primary care physicians (31%);
  • While nearly 2400 physicians were recruited in 2011, over 2500 either left the area or retired, resulting in a net loss;
  • Excluding the Nassau-Suffolk region, 75% of emergency departments had no coverage for certain specialties due to the shortage, resulting in the need to transfer patients to other hospitals;
  • 32% of hospitals had to either reduce or eliminate hospital services due to the physician shortage;
  • 110 hospitals responded to this survey, for an overall response rate of 73% of NYS hospitals, excluding NYC.

For the full results, click here.
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