Geriatrics Field Needs Major Influx of Health Professionals | Law Firm Newswire

Geriatrics Field Needs Major Influx of Health Professionals

Waxahachie, TX (Law Firm Newswire) July 8, 2013 - A number of recent health care reforms are pushing health policy advisors to rethink how to meet the growing need for elder health care professionals.

Panelists at a senior health care forum in Manhattan recently expressed concern about the future of elder care in the U.S. The symposium, hosted by Jewish Home Life Care and the Himan Brown Charitable Trust, included the health policy professor at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Dr. John Wallis Rowe, who stated that the number of heath care workers specializing in geriatrics was so small, it was "an embarrassment."

"Health care professionals are reluctant to enter geriatric care because of the constant changes in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Reimbursement rates to providers are consistently threatened and coverage is often in question as CMS steps up pressure on hospitals by second-guessing whether patients should be given inpatient status," stated Dallas elder law attorney John Hale.

Other panelists agreed that health care professionals are entering the field of geriatrics in smaller numbers than ever before, an unfortunate trend as the U.S. population continues to age. The first wave of the country's "baby boom" generation turns 67 in 2013, and more than 70 million more people will be in their late 60s and 70s during the next ten years.

The reluctance of many health care professionals to enter the geriatric care field may in large part be due to the common view that geriatric care is simply end-of-life care for frail patients. This bias is generally disputed by many in the field, who state that there are numerous complexities and strategies involved in providing good, comprehensive care. Others state that they believe the field is less of a draw after medical school, as geriatric typically pays less than other specialties.

But, said Rowe, the health care system can still be bolstered by a healthy and robust number of elder care professionals and in-home quality-of-life systems in time to meet the growing needs of the aging population. Hospitals will not be adequately outfitted to care for the myriad needs of so many elderly patients, but basic life care and minor medical issues can be managed in a home care setting with medical aides and support. But, in order for that to happen, elder care advocates say, more focus needs to be placed on elder care in nursing schools and medical programs.

Rose told the audience that the U.S. currently has a shortage of at least 45,000 primary care providers, while the country will soon need to insure an additional 20 million people. The lack of enough doctors and the growing number of patients in need will only continue to increase the care gap.

John Hale is a Dallas elder law attorney and Dallas estate planning lawyer with The Hale Law Firm. To learn more visit

The Hale Law Firm
100 Executive Court, Suite 3
Waxahachie, TX 75165
Call: 888.425.3911

View Larger Map

  • Texan Government and Legal Professionals Offer Tips for Safe and Happy Driving This Holiday Season
    Year after year, Texas leads the nation in traffic fatalities due to drunk driving. Add to that the still-growing spike in fatal crashes due to the energy boom, and Texans have good reason to think carefully about staying safe on the road this holiday season. Auto accidents can be financially, emotionally and physically devastating, especially during the holidays. Fortunately, it is easy to reduce the risk of being involved in a crash. Stay off the road after 1:00 a.m. Most drunk driving accidents occur between 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. Even if most people drive sober, inevitably, some will not. […]
  • Stunning Breakthrough Offers Hope for Paralyzed Spinal Cord Injury Patients
    An electrical stimulation implant has helped four paralyzed men regain the ability to move their legs.  The device, called an epidural spine stimulator, was implanted in the men as part of a study undertaken by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Louisville. One of the patients in the study, Kent Stephenson, is from Mount Pleasant, Texas. At 21, he was involved in a motocross accident that left him without sensation or motor control from the chest down. Today, he can move his legs, stand on his own and distinguish between types of touch. In addition, […]
  • Expert Links Football Players’ Concussions to Behavioral Problems, Slams NFL Settlement Deal
    A brain injury expert from Boston University is speaking out for players he feels have been unfairly excluded from a settlement deal in the class action lawsuit against the NFL over the health effects of play-related brain injury. Robert Stern filed an affidavit with the court and then took his story to the press, telling The Associated Press (AP) that the compensation in the settlement may be going to the wrong people. Stern told AP reporters that behavioral problems, including domestic violence, drug addiction and suicide, can all be caused by chronic traumatic encephalopathy — also known as CTE — […]

Tags: , , , , ,

Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required