California is leading the nation with more Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas than any other state, according to U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration data.
The HPSA score, calculated on Feb. 7, 2023, is based on geographic area, population and facility shortage designations. California’s Primary Care HPSA count of 682 indicates a shortage of primary care physicians for entire groups of people in a geographic area, specific groups of people within a geographic area (i.e. low-income, migrant farm workers) and medical facilities that serve a population or geographic area. These include public or nonprofit medical facilities, correctional facilities, Federally Qualified Health Centers and more.
A Kaiser Family Foundation breakdown of the HRSA data, published in October 2022, shows that more than 8 million people live in California’s Primary Care HPSAs. Less than half of the state’s population is having its primary care physician needs met, KFF calculated.
After California, Texas, Missouri, Alaska and Florida rank in the top five for states with high Primary Care HPSA scores. In total, the HRSA found that 99 million people in the U.S. live in nearly 8,300 Primary Care HPSAs. More than 17,000 primary care practitioners are needed to fill that void.
This data reflects what we know: the primary care physician shortage is growing worse in the U.S., hitting certain populations the hardest.
Licensed physicians who participate in the Physician Retraining & Reentry program by enrolling in the online primary care refresher course are playing a part in the primary care physician shortage solution.
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