Vermont is experiencing a physician shortage in key specialty areas. DVHA has chosen to monitor 5 key groups with dwindling provider counts in order to work with multiple agencies to address issues proactively: behavior and mental health and substance abuse providers, cardiologists, dentists, pharmacies, and primary care providers (PCPs).
Behavior and Mental Health and Substance Abuse Providers:
Many of Vermont’s behavioral health providers are reaching retirement age and Medicaid is not enrolling enough new providers to meet the needs of its members. The National Council for Behavioral Health reports that 77% of counties across the country have severe shortages of behavioral health professionals. This is in part due to what Vermont is experiencing with the aging out of this provider population without replacements. The report also points to the relatively low salary as a disincentive for this area of study/certification.
Only 57.7% of adults with mental illness in Vermont receive any form of treatment from either the public system or private providers (according to SAMHSA). The remaining 42.3% receive no mental health treatment. According to Mental Health America, Vermont is ranked 3 out of 50 states and Washington D.C. for providing access to mental health services.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) suggests there should be 1 Mental Health Counselor in a 30 mile radius for every 1000 residents.
Last updated: 10/15/2020