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Economic Tools and Concepts

In: Business and Management

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Economic Tools and Concepts
Dana Lawson
December 16, 2013
Professor Amy Shoales

Economic Tools and Concepts
The U.S. health system is set to enter into a new era with the full realization of the individual mandate as part of the Affordable Care Act in 2014. About 34 million people will enter the health care system in early 2014, some with complex medical conditions that require the attention of primary care and specialty physicians (DeNavas-Walt, Proctor, & Smith, 2013). Despite this expected growth, this country is facing a physician shortage due to population growth, aging, and insurance expansion. The short supply has led to increased demand for physician services regardless of specialty or primary practice. According to some estimates, there will be a shortage of 91,500 physicians by 2020 with an increase in this figure to 130,600 by 2025 (AAMC, 2012). The projected shortage is equally distributed among primary care and specialties such as general surgery, cardiology, and oncology. This paper will discuss the physician shortage, describe two economic tools, and evaluate the physician shortage issue using the selected economic tools.
Physician Shortage
The future supply of physicians will not be able to keep up with demand for health care services. According to the Census Bureau, the population of Americans over 65 years of age will more than double between 2012 and 2060, from 43.1 million to 92.0 million (2012). It is a fact that this segment of the population has more complex health needs and utilizes health care services more readily than any other group. Though the physician workforce shows some marginal growth, with a projected increase in physicians of 7% in the next ten years, it is still not enough to satisfy demand (AAMC, 2012). Older patients require more time, attention, and coordination of their health care needs. Even with the...

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