Thursday, February 25, 2016

Shorter of Breath and One Day Closer to Death

With apologies to Misters Gilmour, Mason, Waters, and Wright.

In 2011, the oldest members of the American Baby Boomer generation crossed into retirement.  By 2060, 98 million people in America, that is one in four, will be 65 or older.

As they (we!) age, seniors face a growing list of general ailments, medical complications, therapeutic and surgical interventions, long-term care decisions, and eventually, end of life issues (health-related as well as social and financial).  At the same time, healthcare is becoming more and more specialized, with focused care from a growing list of ‘-ists’ including audiologists, cardiologists, endocrinologists, nephrologists, neurologists, nutritionists, oncologists. ophthalmologists, pulmonologists, rheumatologists, and urologists.

As we  age (notice how I faced the truth and now say ‘we’), we rely more and more on healthcare professionals to guide us through the maze of health and healthcare options.  Along with this growing healthcare team is a need to help coordinate and facilitate care, which more and more often (appropriately) falls to Family Physicians and Geriatricians.

Using data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES), the HealthLandscape Health Workforce Mapper can be used to show health workforce estimated for state, metro areas, and counties for the entire US.  We’ve included the major medical specialties (most of the ‘-ists’ mentioned above) including Family Physicians and Geriatricians.

This mapping system provides important information to researchers, workforce policy makers, and legislators who are working to improve healthcare delivery.

Population per Family Physician by County
Population per Family Medicine Geriatricians by County

In the coming weeks, we’ll be updating this mapping tool with the latest NPPES data and additional functionality, including a significant increase in the number of specialties and sub-specialists that can be visualized.

Additional Reading:
With regards to Misters Gilmour, Mason, Waters, and Wright: if you don’t know, ask your grandparents.

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Mark Carrozza, MA

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