Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research,
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

May 2017

We are pleased to announce the launch of an interactive web-based data visualization that allows policy makers, legislators, educators, employers and other workforce stakeholders to explore 15 years of licensure data on ten health professions in North Carolina. Data on nine additional professions and new features will be added over the next few months. In the summer of 2017, we will launch DocFlows, another data visualization that allows users to query, download, and share maps of state-to-state moves by residents in training and active practicing physicians in different specialties.
Announcing the North Carolina Health Professions Data Visualization Tool

Since 1979, the North Carolina Health Professions Data System
has produced a hard copy annual data book with counts of 19 licensed health professionals by county. With funding from the North Carolina AHEC Program and continued support from 11 participating licensing boards, we have developed a new online tool that allows users to visualize, query and download health professional counts by county, ratios per population, and demographic information. The data visualization will enable decision makers to use the licensure data to make informed decisions about the education, recruitment and practice of health professionals in NC. 

The tool is available at nchealthworkforce.sirs.unc.edu and currently includes data on ten health professions. Data on nine additional professions, new functions, and features will be released throughout the summer of 2017.
 Evan Galloway will present the tool at the 13th Annual AAMC Health Workforce Research Conference on Thursday, May 4.
Sneak Peek: The DocFlows Model

Where do physicians move after they complete residency training? How many physicians move to a different state during their career and where do they move?

The Carolina Health Workforce Research Center, with funding from HRSA's National Center for Health Workforce Analysis, has developed a model allowing users to query, download, and share maps of state-to-state moves by residents and actively practicing physicians by specialty.

The model will be released this summer. We will announce the launch through social media  (Twitter @UNC_PHWRP, Facebook @UNCworkforce) and our newsletter. 
New data brief from the FutureDocs Forecasting Tool

The FutureDocs Forecasting Tool is an interactive, user-friendly, web-based model that estimates the supply of physicians, use of physician services, and capacity of the physician workforce to meet future use of health services at the regional, state and national levels from 2013 to 2030. We used the FutureDocs Forecasting Tool to assess whether the supply and distribution of physicians in the United States will be sufficient to meet the future demand for healthcare services.

FutureDocs: Nation has Enough Physicians to Meet the
Nation's Overall Needs - For Now. Distribution to Worsen.  
Authors: Emily Tierney, Tom Ricketts, Andy Knapton, Erin Fraher 

The model shows supply and demand nearly in balance in 2017, with physicians able to meet about 96% of visits demanded. The model estimates that the gap between supply and demand will widen out to 2030 as the population grows and ages.   
In one scenario, the model simulates the effect that an increase of 3,000 PGY1 positions each year for five years would have on workforce supply if new GME positions were allocated to states and specialties facing the greatest shortages. Mississippi, a state facing a significant shortage of physicians, saw its unmet need halved between 2017 and 2030 after the expansion. 

Use the model explore the data and test the effect that different policy scenarios would have on the capacity of physicians in your state to meet population health needs.

Access the Brief here.
We will be releasing additional briefs in the coming months.

Other News

Updates from the Carolina Health Workforce Research Center 
Congratulations to Janet Freburger and her research team on the acceptance of two manuscripts from their project, " The Role of Physical and Occupational Therapists in the Acute to Post-Acute Care Transition."
  • Freburger J, Li D, Johnson A, Fraher E. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Acute and Community Settings After Stroke: Are Patients Getting the Care They Need? Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 2017 Apr 4. pii: S0003-9993(17)30220-4. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2017.03.007. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Freburger J, Li D, Fraher E. Community Use of Physical and Occupational Therapists After Stroke and Risk of Hospital Readmission. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (in press).
Congressman David Price visits the Sheps Center

On April 24, the Sheps Center hosted Congressman David Pricefrom North Carolina's 4th District. He participated in an informal discussion about federal funding and how health services researchers can best work with policymakers to ensure our research is actionable.

Meeting with NC HPDS licensing boards
at the Sheps Center 
On April 5, we gathered our licensing boards to demo the new NC Health Professions Data Visualization Tool and seek their feedback. We are grateful for the cooperation and support of our participating licensing boards, who have provided their data annually since the late 1970s.

Upcoming presentations 
The  13th Annual AAMC Health Workforce Research Meeting will be held in Arlington, VA on May 3-5. Investigators from the UNC Sheps Center and our collaborators will participate in five podium presentations and connect with colleagues. Look for us at these talks:
  • State-based approaches to reforming Medicaid-funded graduate medical education. Erin Fraher, Julie Spero, Tom Bacon (Breakout I)
  • Developing interactive data visualizations for state workforce planning and policy. Evan Galloway, Julie Spero, Erin Fraher (Breakout J)
  • Social work in integrated primary care: a systematic review. Brianna Lombardi, Lisa de Saxe Zerden, Erica Richman, Erin Fraher, Mark Fraser, Shiyou Wu (Breakout L) 
  • Rapid growth in NP and PA supply will likely mitigate national physician shortage. Erin Fraher, Andy Knapton (Breakout N)
  • Are nurses moving to outpatient jobs? Joanne Spetz, Erin Fraher, Erica Richman (Breakout O)
Julie Spero will speak at the North Carolina Dental Public Health Conference in Wilmington, NC on Wednesday, May 10.

Erin Fraher will give a keynote at the National Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers Annual Meeting in Denver on June 8. She will present to the Rhode Island Office of Health Workforce Transformation on June 16.
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