Journal of Medical Regulation Examines Impact of Health Care Workforce Issues in Special Edition

Research and analysis explores the impact of changing demographic trends and delivery models on the work of state medical boards

Released: 27-Feb-2014 7:00 PM EST
Source Newsroom: Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)
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Newswise — (DALLAS, Feb. 28, 2014) – As U.S. demographics continue to shift and the health care system experiences rapid change in patient-care models, state medical boards will increasingly need to examine their policies in areas such as medical workforce capacity, scope of practice, and assessment of competency, according to the latest issue of the Journal of Medical Regulation (JMR).

In a special themed-edition titled “Health Care Workforce in Transition: The Impact of Changing Demographic Trends and Delivery Models on Medical Regulation,” a diverse range of articles explore various aspects of the impact of workforce issues on state medical regulators, including:

“A State Medical Board’s Assessment of its Physician Workforce Capacity: Purpose, Process, Perspective and Lessons Learned.” The District of Columbia Board of Medicine offers advice on the gathering of workforce data about health care professionals and how it can help shape a medical board’s policy making.

“Board Certification Status: Considerations for Maintenance of Licensure and the Specialty of Pediatrics.” A team from the American Academy of Pediatrics compares practice patterns of board-certified and non-board-certified pediatricians, raising questions about how professional competency measures such as Maintenance of Certification and Maintenance of Licensure might impact future patient access.

“From Health Care to Population Health: Retooling Legal Structures for a New Paradigm.” Policy analyst Jackson Williams, JD, explores a new paradigm for U.S. health care that places greater emphasis on managing population health and proposes extending great responsibility for health care services to non-physicians.

“Special Report: The Minimum Data Set.” In a special report, physician workforce experts Edward Salsberg and Christina Hosenfeld comment on the critical role state medical boards can play in helping assess workforce needs, and a research team from the FSMB offers data on state medical board information-gathering practices and opinions.

In her introduction to the special issue, JMR Editor-in-Chief Ruth Horowitz, PhD, notes: “While state medical boards are critical in ensuring that physicians have necessary skills to practice safely, they increasingly face the reality that non-physicians have underutilized skills that may contribute more to our health care system. The number of physicians we currently have and will need in the future – and how we regulate them – is a key concern. Thus, we must count how many physicians are in active practice, in which places, and in what specialties; determine how many physicians we need and who else can use their learned skills; and evaluate how board policies may contribute to or fill gaps in service.”

The article, “A State Medical Board’s Assessment of its Physician Workforce Capacity: Purpose, Process, Perspective and Lessons Learned,” is the free featured article in the current issue of JMR.

The Journal of Medical Regulation 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.

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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. To learn more, visit www.fsmb.org.


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