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Bridging the Gap: The Vital Role of Neurology Advanced Practice Providers in Healthcare

By: Jeremy Alexander | Updated on April 04, 2024

Bridging the Gap: The Vital Role of Neurology Advanced Practice Providers in Healthcare

Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) are an integral part of the healthcare system's smooth operation. Well-vetted in a wide range of knowledge and patient care, APPs can bridge the divide in healthcare service and fill gaps in facilities across the country, especially concerning neurological care. 

Currently, 40 states report a shortage of neurology APPs. The national supply is constrained due to several ongoing attributes, including government policies, age demographics, changing work-life balance expectations and the increasing demand for specialty expansion. With the average age of neurology APPs in the United States being 52, the supply of Baby Boomer neurology APPs is declining, and neurology groups and health systems pay higher compensations to younger neurology APPs for fewer hours of work. General neurologist Micheal Markowski, DO, who chaired the AAN’s general neurology task force from 2019-2020 spoke on the importance of evolving neurological care. “Our residency training programs aren’t doing anything wrong, but we have the data that shows we have to start doing something different if we’re going to care for the one in three Americans with neurological diseases who deserve care in their community rather than having to travel to subspecialty centers in larger cities.”

While the social standards of work-life balance shift and compensation for young neurology APPs increases, the challenges of delivering neurological care increase as well. Reports indicate new neurology patient wait times rank among the longest across medical specialties, averaging around 30 days for adult patients and extending to 5-6 months for pediatric patients. Because of these realities, the need for APP Neurologists is higher than ever. With the integration of APP Neurologists alongside the advantages of telehealth, these shortages can be addressed.

Patients have increased access to care with APP neurologists, especially when telehealth services are implemented. LT Telehealth, powered by LocumTenens.com, partners with an extensive network of clinicians to facilitate rapid access to specialty expertise. With a nationwide shortage of neurologists, telehealth allows patients to be seen regardless of location, travel means, and resources. A 2020 analysis of Medicare recipients showed that 21% of rural residents with a neurological condition had access to a nearby specialist, compared to 27% of patients in urban locations. Even in states with an adequate supply of neurologists, telehealth can reach patients residing in rural areas to best address these “neurology deserts”.

Neurology APPs are integral parts of care and specialty teams. Focusing on patient education, diagnosis, and treatment options, APP Neurologists provide patients with increased access to care, reduced wait times, and enhanced continuity of care. Able to address a wide range of issues resulting from these shortages, Neurology APPs working locums assignments are the answer to best ensure smooth facility operation and patient care. To learn more about options for your career and future locums assignments, set up a meeting with one of our staffing experts today.

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About the author

Jeremy Alexander

Vice President, Neurology and Physiatry

Jeremy Alexander is vice president of LocumTenens.com’s Neurology and Physiatry divisions. He joined the company as an account representative in 2005 before transitioning into a sales account executive role and senior account executive role in 2012. He was promoted to managing director in 2015 and again in 2020 to oversee the neurology team. Jeremy graduated from Georgia Southern University with a degree in broadcasting and a double minor in journalism and political science. He has won numerous awards while at LocumTenens.com, including Manager of the Month, Producer of the Month, Sales Associate of the Year and the MAX Award for Psychiatry, and he is a member of the 20-Million-Dollar Gross Profit Club. He lives in Alpharetta with his wife, their three children, two dogs and one cat.