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May 19, 2015

Statewide Doctor Shortage Threatens Primary Care Expansion

New HANYS' Report Finds Significant Lack of Primary Care Physicians

ALBANY, N.Y. - As our healthcare system transforms with a greater focus on primary care, care coordination, and population health, communities across the state need more primary care providers, according to a new report from the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS).

Doctor Shortage Imperils Primary Care Expansion confirms that New York's physician shortage continues and is expected to worsen as reform efforts—such as the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program—rely on increased primary care. The report, which summarizes the results of HANYS' annual Physician Advocacy Survey, found 20% of the 942 doctors needed are primary care physicians.

"At a time when healthcare providers are working to keep their communities healthier and out of the emergency room, primary care must be accessible in all corners of New York State," said HANYS President Dennis Whalen. "From expanding successful programs such as Doctors Across New York to optimizing telehealth services, the state must explore ways to meet the current and future needs for primary care."

Seventy-seven percent of respondents indicated that their primary care capacity is not sufficient to meet current needs, with 75% concerned about the ability to meet future demand. The survey also found 86% of hospitals found primary care physicians very difficult to recruit. Those surveyed provide primary care at a total of 542 clinics.

HANYS has advocated for additional slots for the successful Doctors Across New York program, the continuation of Primary Care Services Corps, and for funding through DSRIP to help providers recruit physicians and other healthcare professionals to communities in need.

HANYS' 2014 Physician Advocacy Survey was developed in collaboration with Iroquois Healthcare Alliance, Suburban Hospital Alliance of New York State, Rochester Regional Healthcare Association, and Western New York Healthcare Association. A total of 94 member hospitals outside New York City participated in the survey.

With a large number of respondents located in rural underserved areas in northeastern, central, Rochester, and western New York, the report includes a separate section for upstate findings.


Melissa Mansfield
Associate Director, Public and Media Relations
(518) 431-7770

The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) is the only statewide hospital and continuing care association in New York State, representing 500 non-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, and other health care organizations.