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ASCP Advocates for Efforts to Respond to Healthcare Workforce Shortages

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

ASCP maintains that the administration of health care is delivered by a spectrum of professionals trained to provide the highest level of expertise for optimal patient outcomes and that all areas of health care delivery must be adequately staffed with qualified trained professionals.

To that end, we are calling upon you to reach out to lawmakers to support (HR 6352), the Physician Shortage Reduction and Graduate Medical Education Accountability and Transparency Act, designed to expand the number of Medicare-sponsored residency training slots. The legislation, introduced by Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) and Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), lends itself to increasing the availability of physicians in the pipeline, thereby potentially increasing the number of practicing pathologists.

The Association of American Medical Colleges is predicting that the shortage of physicians could reach 90,000 by the year 2020. Consider this, the U.S. population is living longer, requiring more medical care as they age. The passage of the Affordable Care Act provides insurance coverage for an additional 32 million Americans. They will be seeking medical treatment more proactively. In addition, there continues to be millions of Americans who rely on physician care to treat and maintain their lives with chronic illnesses. How will the ground swell of need be met with an inadequate number of physicians available to provide treatment?

By increasing the number of Medicare-sponsored training slots, HR 6352 would help train 4,000 more physicians annually, about a third of what is believed to be needed to avert a physician shortage. In addition to supporting the House bill that has been introduced, ASCP would also like to see a companion bill introduced in the Senate pushing for additional training slots in order to move toward reducing the shortage of one segment of the health care delivery team.

Take action here.