Aging Population and Growing Disease Burden Will Increase Demand for Specialists

  Aging Population and Growing Disease Burden Will Increase Demand for

Aging population, expanded medical coverage under Affordable Care Act will
increase demand for some adult specialty care by as much as 31 percent by
2025, IHS study says

Business Wire

WASHINGTON -- November 4, 2013

The rise in prevalence of chronic diseases and complex medical conditions
associated with a rapidly aging population will increase demand for medical
specialists throughout the United States, according to a study by IHS (NYSE:
IHS), the leading source of information and analysis. The study was released
today in the November issue of Health Affairs, a journal of health, health
care, and policy published by Project HOPE.

Changing demographics and expanded medical coverage under the Affordable Care
Act will increase demand for medical services and primary care and specialty
physicians. Ambulatory care service volume is projected to increase by 8 to 12
percent between 2013 and 2025, while hospital inpatient days are projected to
increase by about 19 percent (reflecting higher rates of hospitalization and
surgery among the elderly population).

Demand for adult primary care services is projected to increase by
approximately 14 percent during this period, while demand for specialty care
will increase more quickly among medical specialties that disproportionately
care for older patients. High growth specialties include: vascular surgery, up
31 percent, followed by cardiology, up 20 percent; and neurological surgery,
radiology and general surgery, all up 18 percent. In comparison, projected
growth for general pediatrics during the same period is just 6 percent
reflecting projected low growth of the child population.

According to Census Bureau projections cited in the study, the nation’s
elderly population (65 and older) will increase by nearly 45 percent between
now and 2025, a period when the general population will grow by 9.5 percent.
With an aging population, the study says, comes increasing prevalence of
chronic diseases – by 2025, the portion of the population with cardiovascular
disease or a history of stroke or heart disease is projected to increase by
nearly 27 percent and the percentage with diabetes by 21 percent.

The study also notes that the projected growth in demand for specialty
services varies substantially by state, reflecting differences in population
growth, demographic characteristics, economic factors and the expansion of
health coverage. For example, demand at the national level for cardiologist
services is projected to increase by 20 percent through 2025, but in West
Virginia the demand will grow by 5 percent while in Nevada it will increase by
51 percent. Demand growth for vascular surgery services ranges from 12 percent
in Iowa to 63 percent in Arizona.

“The disease burden associated with a growing elderly population will require
a large and diverse health care workforce that can effectively and efficiently
diagnose and treat patients with complex medical conditions,” says Tim Dall,
managing director for healthcare and pharma at IHS. Failure to train
sufficient numbers and the correct mix of medical specialists could exacerbate
already long wait times for appointments, reduce access to health care and
reduce quality of life for some of the nation’s most vulnerable patients,
according to the study.

For a copy of the report, The Care Span: Aging Population and Growing Disease
Burden Will Require Large and Specialized Health Care Workforce, go to and then
open the article posted on the right side of the page beneath Download

About IHS (

IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of information, insight and analytics in
critical areas that shape today’s business landscape. Businesses and
governments in more than 165 countries around the globe rely on the
comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery
methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed
and confidence. IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly
traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in
Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS is committed to sustainable, profitable growth
and employs approximately 8,000 people in 31 countries around the world.

IHS is a registered trademark of IHS Inc. All other company and product names
may be trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright © 2013 IHS Inc. All
rights reserved.


Jim Dorsey, +1 781-301-9069
IHS Press Desk
+1 303-305-8021
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