LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J., Dec. 14, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- To help avoid a devastating 12% shortage in New Jersey's supply of physicians compared with anticipated demand, MDAdvantage (http://www.MDAdvantageonline.com), a leading malpractice carrier, calls for more medical school funding and better business environment to practice medicine.
"The good news is healthcare reform will enable more New Jerseyans to be insured -- but we may not have enough physicians to treat them," says Patricia Costante, CEO of the Lawrenceville, N.J.-based MDAdvantage. "These shortages could be a blow to medically underserved populations. Action must be taken now to avert what could be a significant strain on our state's healthcare system." A healthcare industry veteran and sought-after speaker, Costante was named one of Business Insurance's Women to Watch in 2007. She is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
New Jersey already faces a shortage of primary care physicians and specialists in pediatrics, according to a report by the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals. The report anticipates a statewide shortage of 2,800 physicians -- including 1,000 primary care providers -- in the next decade and calls for a centralized planning alliance among state, medical schools and teaching hospitals. While the demand for physicians is increasing, many of New Jersey's graduating residents are choosing to leave the state. A recent survey of residents performed by the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals revealed that only 32 percent of the state's graduating residents expect to set up a practice in New Jersey.
Costante, a long-time physician and consumer advocate, supports a proactive and long-term view and suggests a two-pronged approach -- easing the financial burden for medical students and offering incentives to keep physicians in the state. In the past few years, MDAdvantage has taken several steps to support medical education, including the sponsorship of the annual Edward J. Ill Excellence in Medicine Foundation Awards® (http://www.EJIawards.org), recognizing exceptional physicians and healthcare leaders. Profits from this event help to fund scholarships for medical students in New Jersey.
To encourage physicians to stay in New Jersey, MDAdvantage recently introduced Supreme Advantage™, insurance coverage for employment practices liability, privacy and data security and medical practice administration. All three are provided to existing insureds for no additional cost, a move to help physicians afford increasingly high cost of practicing medicine in New Jersey.
"Now is the time to start developing and implementing physician recruitment and retention strategies to ensure we will be able to meet New Jersey's future healthcare needs," stated Costante. "New Jersey's business and healthcare leaders must partner with our legislators and key policymakers to make our state a friendlier environment for physicians. Investing in the future of our state's physicians is a long-term commitment. We need to act immediately to create an appealing place for physicians to open and maintain medical practices."
Contact: Irene Maslowski, 973-226-1494 or Irene@imassocpr.com