July 24, 2003
Study finds MD access varies by region
The availability of physicians in upstate New York varies greatly by location, according to a new report by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.
The report, Physician Supply in Upstate New York, surveyed most areas in upstate to determine the number of physicians per 100,000 population. Areas studied included western New York, the southern tier, the Rochester area, central New York and Utica-North Country.
“The message for consumers is that overall in upstate New York, we have an adequate supply of physicians,” said Jonathan Kaplan, senior vice-president and medical director of Excellus. A greater concern is the number and distribution of specialty physicians, Kaplan said.
The report found that geography determined access to physicians. Urban areas have a higher population of physicians, particularly specialists, than rural areas.
The report also found that:
New York and the Southern Tier have physician populations
close to the national average.
Central New York and Rochester regions are 6 percent and
seventeen percent above the national average.
- The Utica-North Country’s physician population is 10 percent below the national average.
“There’s no general agreement on what is the ‘right’ number of physicians for any community to have,” said Gennaro Vasile, executive vice-president of health care affairs at Excellus. “The data can give us a relative sense of where we stand in comparison to the U.S. average, and suggest areas of over supply or under supply.”
The report was the fifth in a series of reports put out by Excellus on the cost, access and quality of health care in upstate New York.
For the full report, visit: www.excellusbcbs.com