Journal of Medical Regulation Details State Medical Board Recommendations for Data Collection Improvement
Source Newsroom: Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)
For Immediate Release: March 1, 2013
Newswise — DALLAS – The nation’s capacity for predicting future physician workforce needs and ensuring access to medical care could be significantly improved by the implementation of a new system of collecting information about physicians via state medical boards, according to a report published in the latest issue of the Journal of Medical Regulation.
The report, issued by the House of Delegates of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), calls for the establishment by the nation’s state medical boards of a “minimal data set” (MDS) – a short list of core practice-related and demographic information that would be collected about every licensed physician in the United States.
Information from the MDS would help workforce planners, policy makers, educators and researchers form a more accurate assessment of the current physician workforce and whether it is geared to handle future demands placed upon it. This will be particularly important in the near future as more than 25 million Americans are likely to enter the health care system as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
“Health care reform and a growing and aging population, combined with a projected physician shortage as high as 130,000 by 2025, underscore the importance of knowing as much as possible about the physician workforce,” the FSMB report states.
The FSMB House of Delegates established a Minimal Data Set Workgroup in 2011, which recommended a 12-question survey of all physicians that would touch on such subjects as hours worked per week, kind of care delivered, practice specialty, location of practice, and basic demographic data. In its report, the workgroup recommended that the survey be administered as a part of the ongoing physician-licensing process in all U.S. states and territories.
The report, which cites the state boards’ “unique opportunity to contribute to accurate workforce planning by collecting physician demographic and practice information at the time of license renewal,” offers a detailed framework for an MDS system, including sample questions and administration process.
The article, “Defining a Minimal Data Set for Collecting Information about Actively Licensed Physicians,” is the free featured article in the current issue of the Journal of Medical Regulation. The issue also features the latest in a series of articles examining the history of the Federation of State Medical Boards. In the latest installment of this series, authors David Johnson and Humayun J. Chaudhry, DO, explore FSMB’s growth between the 1960s and 1970s.
The Journal of Medical Regulation (JMR) is a quarterly publication of the Federation of State Medical Boards. To learn more about the JMR or to subscribe, please visit http://jmr.fsmb.org. The JMR website includes an archive of articles dating to 1967 available free of charge to researchers and individuals interested in medical regulation. Remaining volumes covering the years 1913-1966 will be added to the JMR archive in the near future.
About the FSMB
The FSMB is a national non-profit organization representing all medical boards within the United States and its territories that license and discipline allopathic and osteopathic physicians and, in some jurisdictions, other health care professionals. It assists these state and territorial medical boards as they go about their mandate of protecting the public’s health, safety and welfare. The FSMB leads by promoting excellence in medical practice, licensure, and regulation.