The American Academy of NeurologyWorkforce Task Force (WFTF) report predicts a future shortfall of neurologists in the United States. The WFTF data also suggest that for most states, the current demand for neurologist services already exceeds the supply, and by 2025 the demand for neurologists will be even higher. This future demand is fueled by the aging of the US population, the higher health care utilization rates of neurologic services, and by a greater number of patients gaining access to the health care system due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Uncertainties in health care delivery and patient access exist due to looming concerns about further Medicare reimbursement cuts. This uncertainty is set against a backdrop of Congressional volatility on a variety of issues, including the repeal of the sustainable growth rate for physician reimbursement. The impact of these US health care changes on the neurology workforce, future increasing demands, reimbursement, and alternative health care delivery models including accountable care organizations, nonphysician providers such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and teleneurology for both stroke and general neurology are discussed. The data lead to the conclusion that neurologists will need to play an even larger role in caring for the aging US population by 2025. We propose solutions to increase the availability of neurologic services in the future and provide other ways of meeting the anticipated increased demand for neurologic care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology