Nationwide Anesthesia Provider Shortage Intensifies

Nationwide Anesthesia Provider Shortage Intensifies

Medicus Whitepaper: Nationwide Anesthesia Provider Shortage Intensifies

June 3, 2024  | Medicus Healthcare Solutions

The healthcare industry is facing a significant shortage of anesthesiologists and CRNAs. By 2036, the U.S. may have a shortfall of 13,500 to 86,000 physicians, with anesthesia providers comprising a large portion of this deficit. This shortage poses challenges to healthcare revenue, operations, and patient care.

There are currently 51,492 active anesthesiologists and 65,745 active CRNAs. By 2036, a shortage of up to 6,300 anesthesiologists is projected, with CRNA shortages expected, particularly in rural areas. By 2025, a shortage of up to 450,000 nurses for direct patient care is also anticipated.

Demand for anesthesiologists and CRNAs will continue to grow. Anesthesiologist employment is projected to increase by 2.6% from 2022 to 2032, with 1,000 job openings annually. CRNA employment is expected to grow by 9% over the same period, with 4,500 annual job openings.

Surgical services, which account for about 60% of a facility’s revenue, are particularly affected by staffing shortages. Ensuring adequate staffing in the OR is critical for maintaining revenue and continuity of care. Burnout among anesthesia providers exacerbates these challenges, with 50% of anesthesiologists and 56% of CRNAs reporting burnout in 2024.

To address the shortage, many healthcare facilities are turning to locum tenens anesthesiologists and CRNAs to fill critical roles and supplement existing staff, ensuring continuous patient care and operational stability.