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Difficulties Facing the American Healthcare System – What You Need To Know!
The purpose of this post is to help assist those with questions they have concerning their business or medical practice. The Callagy Law team is knowledgeable in many law practice areas and will frequently post topics ranging from Medical Revenue Recovery, PIP, Workers Compensation, and Commercial Insurance. We hope to have this blog shed a light on many common questions.
There are many difficulties facing the American healthcare system, but perhaps chief among them is a possible shortage of physicians. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) predicts that an approximate shortage of 90,000 – 130,000 physicians will occur in the US by the year 2025. There are many factors contributing to this problem, including inadequate enrollment in medical schools.
Many new allopathic (M.D. granting) and osteopathic (D.O. granting) medical schools have been established in recent years, with overall medical school enrollment expected to increase by 30% by 2019. New Jersey has recently started Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and Seton Hall School of Medicine to help meet the health care needs and many other states are following suit.
While increasing the number of medical schools would help to alleviate this shortage, perhaps a more important and overlooked issue is reduction in the fund of residency positions. A residency is a multi-year education program medical school graduates must complete before they can become practicing physicians or surgeons. In 1997, Congress capped the number of Medicare-supported residency positions. In other words, even if we add medical school graduates by increasing the number of medical schools, we will not add to the number of practicing physicians unless we also add to the number of residency training programs. A bill was introduced that would increase residency positions in 2012, but Congress has yet to act on the bill.
The AAMC urges all Americans to rally for support of this bill, and while it will not entirely fix the projected physician shortage, it seems to be a step in the right direction.
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