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Local News

Shortage of healthcare providers on Lombardo’s radar 

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Dana Gentry, Nevada Current
April 12, 2024

Gov. Joe Lombardo wants the state’s Patient Protection Commission to help find a cure for the state’s shortage of healthcare professionals. 

In an executive order issued Friday, Lombardo notes the PPC was created to review the health care needs of Nevadans. “In order to achieve its objective, the PPC must now work to address current challenges with building an adequate health-care workforce to care for residents.” 

Nevada ranked 45th in the nation for the ratio of active physicians to the population in 2021, with 218 per 100,000 residents, compared with the national average of 272, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges. About 70% of the state’s population live in areas with a shortage of primary care providers, according to data from the state. 

Lombardo wants the PPC to evaluate data and best practices related to:  

  • Attracting and retaining health care workers 
  • Improving access to primary care and public health services
  • Removing obstacles to recruiting and retaining workers
  • Identifying funding options for strengthening the healthcare workforce, including supporting competitive Medicaid reimbursements
  • Ensuring strategies for increasing reimbursement incentivize and reward better quality and value for taxpayers 
  • Identifying strategies for evaluating state investments to improve the capacity of the state’s healthcare workforce.

Last month, the Current reported that licensing requirements and the state’s lack of a reciprocity agreement with other states is preventing some providers from working in Nevada. 

The outlook for Nevada’s physician shortage is made dimmer by the state’s aging population of patients, as well as doctors. About a third of Nevada physicians are 60 years of age or older, according to state data. 

This month, the American Dental Association and the National Center for Interstate Compacts presented to state lawmakers on the Interim Committee on Commerce and Labor a reciprocity compact for dentists and dental hygienists.

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This article is republished from Nevada Current under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.