Do we have the ACHD physician resources we need to care for the burgeoning ACHD population?

Do we have the ACHD physician resources we need to care for the burgeoning ACHD population?

Congenit Heart Dis. 2019 Apr 04;:

Authors: Ezzeddine FM, Moe T, Ephrem G, Kay WA

BACKGROUND: Delivery of care to the adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) population has been limited by a shortage in the ACHD physician resources. There is limited data regarding the adequacy of the ACHD physician resources in the United States and our population estimates are extrapolated from Canadian data. Therefore, we proposed to evaluate the adequacy of ACHD physician: patient ratios in the United States at both national and regional levels.
METHODS: Data from the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) website along with metropolitan area and statewide population data from 2016 US Census Bureau estimates were analyzed. Physicians listed on the ACHA website were cross-referenced with ABIM to verify ACHD board certification status.
RESULTS: There are 115 self-identified ACHD programs and 418 self-identified ACHD physicians listed in the ACHA website. There are 320 board-certified ACHD cardiologists in the United States today, including 161 not listed in the ACHA website. Regarding ratios of ACHD-certified physicians to patients, the best served metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is Raleigh-Cary, NC, and the worst served MSA is Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA. The best served State is Washington, DC, and the worst served State is Indiana.
CONCLUSIONS: The ACHD population continues to grow, and the looming national physician shortage is likely to greatly affect the ability to meet the complex needs of this growing population. In order to bring the ACHD patient: physician ratio to 1000:1, a minimum of 170 additional ACHD board-certified physicians are needed now.

PMID: 30945809 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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