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by Madeline Angela Meyer and Michael Alan Meyer

Increases in Demand

There is no doubt when reading the myriad of reported public and private health agencies’ projections that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) increases access to health services, which in turn will increase the number of office visits, procedures and ancillary care services. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), 32 million Americans who will get insurance cards when the ACA is fully implemented, and 15 million more will become eligible for Medicare by 2015.

Changes in Demand

Couple these increases with our changing US population demographics, e.g., those who are over the age of 65 years in need of chronic disease prevention, treatment and management and there is a change in demand for primary care physicians, as well as, specialty care and services.

Provider Shortages

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges’ 2011 Annual Physician Workforce Data, by the year 2025 the US will experience approximately 91,500 physician shortages in all specialties (AAMC, 2011). So, how will these changes impact physicians and patients?

Alternative Care Delivery Models

To meet the increases in demand and changes in demographics, the US healthcare markets are experiencing increases in non-traditional delivery methods, both old and new. The overarching facilitator in care delivery changes is the Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), discussed in our September 4, 2012 article. These massive integrated delivery systems are supported by increased telecommunications which includes more sophisticated medical billing software solutions, electronic health records and telemedicine technologies. Alternative delivery models that most likely will grow due to the changes discussed are presented in this week’s presentation on Alterative Care Delivery Models!

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References

Cherry, MS, Donald., Lucas, MPH, MSW, Christine., Decker, PhD, Sandra L. (2010) Population Aging and the Use of Office-based Physician Services. CDC, NCHS Data Brief. No. 41. August 2010.

Association of American Medical Colleges. 2011 State Physician Workforce Data Release. Center for Workforce Studies. November 2011. https://www.aamc.org/download/263512/data/statedata2011.pdf

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