The Physicians Foundation, a Boston, Mass.-based nonprofit organization that seeks to advance the work of practicing physicians and improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans, announced today it has awarded nearly $750,000 in grant aid to the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). The funds will be used to develop a dynamic, web-based projection model that can be continually updated with new data to track ongoing physician workforce needs across the country.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act seeks to extend insurance to more than 30 million people. Given this significant influx of new patients, policy makers and health providers will need access to real-time data on the locations where physician shortages are most problematic at the local, state and national levels.
The University of North Carolina will utilize data from a wide variety of sources, including the American Medical Association and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Once the data is assembled, UNC, The Physicians Foundation and a clinical advisory group—comprised of practicing physicians—will work collaboratively to develop a model that enables users to estimate physician supply and demand within a set geography and / or specialty. Additionally, users will be able to incorporate a multitude of scenarios to evaluate physician workforce needs, and the sensitivity of projections affected by policy changes.