Study to characterize the optimal health care workforce for an aging society

Life expectancy has increased dramatically in the United States, from 47.3 years in 1900 to 77.3 years in 2001. The fastest growing segment of the population is those over 65 years of age. By 2030, senior citizens will constitute 20 percent of the population, a total of over 70 million persons. Longer life has unintended consequences, one of the most important of which is the necessity to effectively manage the unique health care needs of an aging population. Older Americans have more chronic health conditions and utilize health care services at a rate two to three times that of their younger fellow citizens. It is probable that the dramatic increase in the number of older Americans could overwhelm the overtaxed system of health care for this population. Thus, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) will undertake a consensus study to characterize the optimal health care workforce for an aging America. This study will seek to determine the health care needs of older Americans and then conduct a thorough analysis of the forces that shape the health care workforce, including education, training, mode of practice and reimbursement. The IOM will convene a 15-member committee of experts to study and deliberate and then make recommendations that are readily actionable by pertinent constituencies. Over a period of 15 months, the activities will include: committee formation and acceptance of the statement of task; background literature review; four committee meetings, one or two in conjunction with a public workshop; and development of the report and activities related to release of the report. The project deliverables will include the overall report and five commissioned papers.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $250,000.00

Awarded on: 1/30/2007

Time frame: 2/1/2007 - 4/30/2008

Grant Number: 57803


National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

500 Fifth Street, N.W.
Washington, 20001-2736


Clyde J. Behney
Project Director