Study reveals physician recruitment and retention lagging in Hudson Valley
The Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach (CRREO) at the State University of New York at New Paltz has released the third paper in its discussion briefs on regional issues, titled Is There a Doctor in the House? Physician Recruitment and Retention in the Hudson Valley.
The study, authored by Kathryn Reed, MHA, CMPE, who is the Executive Director of the Catskill-Hudson Area Health Education Center located in Highland, NY, finds that the Hudson Valley needs far greater success in bringing doctors to our region.
“If we don’t pay attention to physician recruitment and retention now,” Reed asserts in the brief, “there will be a price to pay in the availability and quality of medical care in our region in the years to come.”
Gerald Benjamin, CRREO Director and Associate Vice President for Regional Engagement, noted that, “This essay is an excellent example of the work we are doing to bring visibility to important matters of public concern in our region, to encourage their consideration and action upon them.”
Reed states that the Hudson Valley is a region unlike many other areas in New York State in that it has a growing population and, therefore, will require more health services now and into the future.
“As we write, the particular outcomes of the massive national push for health care reform are still not settled,” states Reed, “but any extension of insurance coverage to many or all of the region’s people who are now uninsured will almost certainly increase their demand for both primary and specialized care.”
Reed’s research also finds that physicians are in short supply and that, “By 2020, it is projected 23,000 physicians annually will retire or die, while U.S. medical schools graduate only about 18,000 students each year. Consequently, in our region the barrel is likely to empty faster than we can fill it. As the general population grows older, the cohort of doctors in practice is aging even faster.”
Reed’s analysis reveals that the economics of practicing medicine in the Hudson Valley involves curious and illogical disparities in malpractice insurance costs and patient services reimbursement rates.
“One Newburgh area doctor put it succinctly,” reports Reed. “‘Five miles away, across the bridge in Beacon, they pay 40 percent less in malpractice premiums and get higher reimbursements.’”
CRREO conducts and publicizes research on regional topics; directs select institutes that focus on specific topics of regional interest; engages in outreach to local governments, non-profits and for-profit organizations to initiate reforms and enhancements to best service their constituents; and works to foster community collaboration.
One key aspect of CRREO’s mission is to bring key regional concerns to the attention of citizens and policy makers to support their informed discussion of the public policy problems facing the Hudson Valley. Quality information will help us to work together to develop our own, local solutions and advance the need for changes at the state level.
Discussion Brief’s #1, #2 and #3 are available on the CRREEO Web site at www.newpaltz.edu/crreo/discussion_briefs.html.
For more information about CRREO, visit www.newpaltz.edu/crreo.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
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