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HANYS’ Survey Shows Worsening Physician Shortage

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HANYS’ new report, Help Wanted: New York’s Physician Shortage Continues to Worsen, shows persistent physician shortages, with a projected need for 1,000 physicians reported by 74% of hospitals outside of New York City. The report, which provides the results of HANYS’ 2010 member survey regarding physician shortages, was developed in collaboration with Iroquois Healthcare Alliance, Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, Northern Metropolitan Hospital Association, Rochester Regional Healthcare Association, and Western New York Healthcare Association. The report corroborates studies by the State University of New York Center for Health Workforce Studies and American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC).

The survey found:

  • sixty-nine percent of responding hospitals experienced times when their emergency department was not covered for certain specialty services, and patients were forced to travel to other hospitals, often long distances, to receive needed care, an increase of 50% from the previous year;
  • thirty-three percent have had to reduce and/or eliminate specialty services at their hospitals because they are unable to recruit physicians; and
  • nearly 1,600 physicians retired or left their communities in 2009 

Adding to the alarm of the findings is New York’s aging physician population. According to AAMC, New York ranks second in the number of physicians over age 60. The average age of physicians in New York State is 52, and 16% are over the age of 65.

HANYS will work to address the physician shortage on many fronts this year. In addition to advocating for additional funding for the Doctors Across New York program, HANYS will advocate to increase telemedicine opportunities across the state by removing regulatory barriers and address reimbursement issues. Further, HANYS will work to explore opportunities for both nurse practitioners and physician assistants to serve in communities needing physicians. Contact: Sherry Chorost

Published January 7, 2011