The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s largest HR membership organization, featured interviews with Oliver Wyman’s Chief Medical Officer Bruce Hamory and Mercer colleague Tom Flannery in the article “Health Care Staffing Shortage Predicted to Get Worse Under ACA.”
The Association of American Medical Colleges has projected a shortage of 30,000 primary care doctors in the coming years, Hamory noted. “There has been a relative shortage of regular care physicians for a long time and it’s anticipated to get worse, with or without the ACA,” he said, explaining that an influx of new patients, doctor burnout, and a need for new IT skills are contributing to the challenging staffing environment.
“There are new skill sets as part of all the changes going on, which are needed for all of the people in healthcare, not just physicians,” Hamory told SHRM. “There’s a huge sea change in the way healthcare is delivered, both at a primary care level and a specialty level.”
Flannery, a partner specializing in healthcare at HR consulting firm Mercer, pointed out that another challenge is an economic one: “One of the reasons primary care does not have sufficient numbers of practitioners are primary care physicians are not paid as well as specialists.”