12 healthcare trends and issues we are following for 2024 by Scott Becker and Molly Gamble (www.beckershospitalreview.com)
The year begins with a number of challenges that have only intensified for U.S. healthcare providers.
Below are a dozen trends and issues that commanded our attention throughout 2023 and hold our curiosity in the year ahead. These patterns and shifts directly or indirectly influence how healthcare providers fare in 2024, and ultimately affect how Americans access, afford and receive care.
1. Healthcare has a worsening numbers problem. The estimated 30,000 physicians who join the U.S. workforce will not be enough to meet the growing demand for care and number of doctors retiring, reducing clinical hours, or planning to exit the field each year. Keep in mind that an estimated 71,309 physicians left the workforce from 2021 through 2022 alone. These supply disruptions unfold as the nation as a whole continues to grow and age, intensifying demand for physicians even amid a growing pipeline of advanced practice providers. It's a fairly finite pool of doctors, APPs, nurses and all types therapists and techs to take care of a larger and older population. All in all, the U.S. faces an estimated shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 primary care and specialist physicians by 2034.
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