Demand For Nevada Licensed Physicians During COVID-ID Pandemic
A statewide physician shortage continues to be an issue in Nevada during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the state ranks in the bottom five in three major healthcare categories. A rapid influx of coronavirus patients could soon inundate Nevada hospitals, pushing them past their capacity and threatening health care workers’ safety.
Nevada’s shortage of doctors means many worried patients are scrambling to find a primary care physician who can provide quick diagnoses about coronavirus symptoms or searching for online telehealth options in order to avoid exposure to the virus.
Currently, Nevada is 45th for active physicians per 100,000 people, 48th for primary care physicians per 100,000 people, and 50th for general surgeons per 100,000 people.
According to a new report from the University of Nevada, the number of physicians in Nevada is on the rise, but the state is struggling to catch up to national averages. The number of physicians who hold a Nevada medical license and practice full-time grew 1.7 percent when adjusted alongside the states population increase. (1) This is a meager increase when compared to other states, and with an economy that is not showing any signs of slagging and a population that continues to grow, the Nevada healthcare sector will continue to struggle for the foreseeable future both during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
Why There Is A Demand For Those Who Have A Physician License in Nevada?
Nevada is in desperate need for doctors to train and stay within the state after their schooling is complete. While Nevada has a decent amount of medical schools to train and educate students, it severely lacks in after medical school programs. More than half of the physicians who leave the state after they complete their undergraduate program, do so because of the lack of residency or fellowship opportunities. “States typically have 40 residents per 100,000 people, but Nevada has somewhere between 12, and 14 residencies per 100,000…the students who graduate from medical school have to leave the state to satisfy their 3-year residency requirements.” (2) Since such a vast amount of doctors must leave Nevada to finish their schooling, many do not come back to the state to practice and obtain their Nevada medical license.
Not only does Nevada compete with a lack of residency spaces to train and retain physicians, but its also a landscape plagued by low insurance reimbursements. To make money, physicians are paid for their services based on reimbursements provided by insurance companies. These rates vary from state to state, and Nevada is one of the worst reimbursed states in the country with some of the lowest reimbursement rates. (2) Potential physicians who are seeking their physician license in Nevada may look at other states that can offer better reimbursements and higher salaries. To attract and retain doctors, Nevada needs to figure out how to increase the amount of insurance reimbursement which often doesn’t cover the actual cost of providing services, and many Nevada physicians become overworked, underpaid and in some cases – leave.
Solutions To Bring More Physicians To Nevada Beyond the COVID-ID Pandemic
The Division of Health Care Financing and Policy, Nevada Medicaid, announced steps taken to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including expanded access to telehealth physicians.
With all of the healthcare challenges plaguing Nevada, the state has recently begun to examine solutions to its problems and ways to keep those who have a Nevada physician license practicing in their cities. “Significant efforts are being made to fix the problem including bringing top-of-the-line medical entities to the state, such as a new VA hospital, Roseman University and the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.” (3) New hospitals and facilities will be able to act as locations for the state to fill its residency void.
The governor of Nevada Brian Sandoval announced that his fiscal year would provide the distribution for over 3 million dollars to assist in the creation of residency and fellowship programs intended to grow Nevada’s physician workforce. (4) While this will help to create spaces and keep Nevada medical license holders in the state, the struggle with reimbursements still looms and will be the biggest hurdle to overcome.
Since such a vast amount of training doctors must leave Nevada to finish their schooling, many do not come back to the state to practice and obtain their Nevada medical license.
How Can You Apply For Your Nevada Medical License?
Nevada is struggling to find qualified doctors who want to fill open positions within the state and because of this, there are many available posts to fill. IF you have selected to move and work in Nevada, you will need to fill out the paperwork for your Nevada medical license. Where do you begin when you need to fill out all of the required paperwork? Unfortunately, the vast amount of steps to take to apply and receive your physician license in Nevada can be daunting. Luckily, there are additional resources that can help simplify the application process if you need your Nevada medical license. Joining the physician workforce in Nevada will help the state overcome more of it’s healthcare challenges, providing those who are undeserved proper healthcare.