Impact of the Aging Population on Healthcare

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Demographics are an important factor in determining the demand and supply of healthcare works and services that will be needed for a particular region. Certain trends in demographics have to be carefully monitored in order to forecast those changes that may be needed in certain areas based on changes. One change in demographics that can change of the types of services being offered is the age of the population surrounding any healthcare facility or a particular region.

The rate at which our population is aging is one of the most demographic trends that will changes the face of the future workforce of healthcare. The demand for services and they type of services offered will change as well. The impact will be felt on a economic level across the board. •If health care consumption patterns and physician productivity remained constant over time, the aging population would increase the demand for physicians per thousand population from 2.8 in 2000 to 3.1 in 2020. Demand for full-time-equivalent RNs per thousand population would increase from 7 to 7.5 during this same period. •In 2000, physicians spent an estimated 32 percent of patient care hours providing services to the age 65 and older population. If current consumption patterns continue, this percentage could increase to 39 percent by 2020. •The aging of the health workforce raises concerns that many health professionals will retire about the same time that demand for their services is increasing. Furthermore, the declining proportion of the population age 18 to 30 raises concerns regarding the ability to attract a sufficient number of new health workers. •The rise in health care expenditures associated with the rapid increase in the elderly population will likely place additional pressures on the Medicaid and Medicare programs, as well as private insurers, to control health care costs. Such measures would likely decrease the demand for and supply of health professionals. •The aging population could...
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