INDIANAPOLIS, May 7 (UPI) — Urgent changes are needed for physicians to meet the healthcare demands of aging baby boomers, U.S. researchers said.
Dr. Steven R. Counsell of the Indiana University School of Medicine and colleagues Drs. Chad Boult, Rosanne M. Leipzig and Robert A. Berenson said to ensure a better trained physician workforce to meet geriatric care demands, while the number of geriatric specialists shrinks, policymakers should:
– Increase funding for geriatrics in medical schools.
– Use Medicare’s educational subsidy to strengthen geriatrics in residency and fellowship programs.
– Require practicing physicians to complete geriatric continuing education credits in order to maintain their state licensures and Medicaid provider certifications.
The researchers also propose amending Title VII of the U.S. Public Health Service Act to provide financial support for medical schools and (doctor) residency programs.
“The geriatric imperative of the 21st century requires major, rapid changes to our healthcare system,” Counsell, an Indiana University Center for Aging Research Center scientist, said in a statement.
“Through educational policy reforms at the state and federal levels, policymakers can catalyze the dramatic workforce changes necessary for delivery of cost-effective chronic care to the rapidly swelling ranks of older Americans.”
The findings are published in the journal Health Affairs.
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