The physician shortage is real. It is estimated by 2030 that the US population will grow by a whopping 12%, while the amount of physicians is estimated to only grow by 8%. That already sounds like a shortage, but the situation is likely more extreme than that. It’s about demographics. By 2030, it is estimated that the group who needs care most, those who are 65+, will swell a total 55%. This information comes from the AAMC report, which also concludes there may be a shortage of 120,000 physicians by that same fateful year – 2030.
What Does This Mean?
Health care providers see this shortage come to fruition in a variety of ways, from patients waiting months to get special types of appointments to spending too long in waiting rooms. It means certain areas are at higher risk for not having the physician care they need, particularly rural areas that also tend to have a greater need for medical treatments. As of September 2018, it was declared, even now, that approximately 13% of individuals reside in an area experiencing a shortage of primary care physicians. That plays out to be about 44 million people throughout the US, according to UnitedHealth Group.
All of this data and statistics translate to real, tangible problems for people that need, or will need, care yet have trouble accessing it. The shortage of physicians has people examining the policies for getting medical graduates into the field faster and ways health care facilities can utilize other methods and professionals, especially NPs (Nurse Practitioners). Not only do experts like NPs have education and experience-backed qualifications, but they are also more likely to be in primary care than physicians. While the majority of NPs are in primary care, more physicians have entered specialties and other types of care.
How a GPO Can Help
As a healthcare organization or provider, it is vital to acquire everything – and everyone – needed. That is why a GPO (Group Purchasing Organization) can be indispensable. Not only does a GPO provide savings on medical equipment, which opens up more funding for physicians, but a GPO can help in sourcing nurses – who could play a vital part in helping in this physician shortage.
Hiring is an intensive process that can be put on the backburner, which is why a GPO is so powerful to come in and help with that process. Once nurses are hired, a GPO has HR solutions to help streamline hiring and staff management, too – so they can help maintain and manage hires.
Learn more about how a GPO can help in the physician shortage.