With an aging population that is increasing, one thing that is needed for this population is doctors who specialize in treating the elderly. Doctors who specialize in treating those in a nursing home have increased, probably in line with the demand for such specialists. US News reports on this trend and how it may affect the industry.
Between 2012 and 2015, the number of doctors focusing on nursing home residents grew by one-third. This trend may have been driven by an increase in the population of the elderly and increased government oversight of nursing homes.
In order to qualify as a specialist, at least 90% of a physicians billing must be from nursing home accounts.
The data provided by Medicare showed that the number of doctors, physician’s assistants, and nurse practitioners was at about 5,100 in 2012. By 2015, that number had grown to 6.800, an increase of about 34 percent.
The study showed that of all health care providers who provide services to nursing homes, 21% now claim that as a specialty.
This increase may help towards better outcomes in an industry that has seen its fair share of low-quality care. This low-quality care has sent the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to propose reforms and increased penalties for facilities that provide care that is not up to standard.
The study authors say that the industry may be adapting to this government oversight by employing doctors who specialize in the treatment of nursing home patients.
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