HealthDay News – The distribution of neurologists varies across the US. This is according to a study published online in Neurology on December 23.
Chun Chieh Lin, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan Medical School at Ann Arbor, and colleagues described neurologist density, neurological conditions, and neurologist involvement in neurological care based on 20 percent of Medicare data from 2015.
The researchers observed an almost four-fold variation in the mean density of neurologists from the lowest density quintile to the highest density (9.7 versus 43.1 per 100,000 Medicare beneficiaries). No significant difference was found in the mean prevalence of patients with neurological disease in the neurologist density quintile regions (293 versus 311 per 1,000 beneficiaries in the lowest versus the highest quintiles). A total of 23.5 percent of patients with neurological disease were seen by a neurologist, and this percentage varied between 20.6 and 27.0 percent in the regions with the lowest and highest quintiles, respectively. The biggest difference was due to dementia, pain, and stroke, which were observed by neurologists. Very little of the difference was due to Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, both of which had a high proportion of neurologists (> 80 percent) even in the lowest quintile region.
“These data form an important foundation for future studies aimed at assessing the relationship between neurologist density and patient outcomes and providing insights to policy makers when considering strategies to meet the demand for neurological care with the appropriate supply To reconcile neurologists, “write the authors.
Two authors disclosed financial ties to the medical device, telemedicine, and medical legal industries.
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