Purpose: This study describes the supply of cancer care providers - physicians, nurse practitioners (NPs), and physician assistants (PAs) - in Nebraska and analyzes changes in the supply over a 5-year period. Method: We used workforce survey data for the years 2008 to 2012 from the Health Professions Tracking Service to analyze the cancer care workforce supply in the state of Nebraska. The supply of cancer care providers was analyzed over the 5-year period on the basis of age, sex, specialty, and practice location; distribution of work hours for cancer care physicians was analyzed for 2012. Results: From 2008 to 2012, there was a 3.3% increase in the number of cancer care physicians. Majority of the cancer care physicians (82.5%), NPs (81.1%), and PAs (80%) reported working in urban counties, whereas approximately half of the state's population resides in rural counties (47%). Compared with the national distribution, Nebraska has a lower proportion of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and pediatric hematologists/oncologists. The gap between the number of cancer care physicians age ≥ 64 years and the number younger than 40 years is slowly closing in Nebraska, with an increase in those age ≥ 64 years. Conclusion: Increasing cancer incidence and improved access to cancer care through the Affordable Care Act could increase demand for cancer care workers. Policymakers and legislators should consider a range of policies based on the best available data on the supply of cancer care providers and the demand for cancer care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy