Health Overhaul Likely To Strain Doctor Shortage

Primary care physicians already are in short supply in parts of the country. And with the landmark health overhaul law, newly insured patients will put an extra strain on the supply.

Only 30 percent of U.S. doctors currently practice primary care. The government says 65 million people live in areas designated as having a shortage of primary care physicians.

And recently published reports predict a shortfall of about 40,000 primary care doctors over the next decade. It's a field losing out to the better pay and hours of many other specialties.

Provisions in the new law do aim to reverse the trend, offering things such as bonus payments for certain physicians.

Nationally, the big surge for primary care won't start until 2014, when the bulk of the 32 million uninsured start coming online.


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  • by Wolfgang Location: Chocowinity,NC on Mar 29, 2010 at 05:29 PM
    Rasmussen: 54% Favor Repeal of Healthcare Monday, 29 Mar 2010 One week after the House passed the Democratic healthcare plan that President Obama subsequently signed into law, 54 percent of the nation's likely voters still favor repealing the law.
  • by Chuck Location: MillCreek on Mar 29, 2010 at 05:18 PM
    been tryin to figure out what my 2 cents worth was going to be on this article, Here goes:Health Overhaul Likely To Strain Doctor Shortage, your bank account, wait time to see a doctor, higher insurance premiums, cause the legislators to pass a value added tax to try to cover the cost of this monstrocity, negate the contitution in one easy step, thwart the will of the people. Oh I could add more but my friendly WITN moderator might kick it back.
  • by Lynda Location: Greenville on Mar 29, 2010 at 03:20 PM
    there is already a scholarship program for med students who agree to work in primary care in underserved areas. this problem will never stop if the government keeps paying such low reimbursement rates for primary care visits, and huge rates for power chairs, procedures and imaging studies. primary care doctors are overworked and underpaid compared to specialists - why would someone with $100-200,000 in student loans want to be a primary care doctor?
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Mar 29, 2010 at 01:30 PM
    Anonymous Location: G'ville on Mar 29, 2010 at 02:25 PM, yea, he is replacing banking jobs for student loans with inefficient expensive federal ones. When insurance companies start the layoffs prior to bankruptcy...yea, he is creating another post office, medicare and social security, too costly, inefficient, corrupt and failing. Obama Haters....you forgot Bush lied, 8 years, Cheney Haliburton, Bush's financial mess and those two of Bush's wars. Listen to what your master Soros says and instructs you. You Bush haters are all the same.
  • by The Wise One Location: NC on Mar 29, 2010 at 12:56 PM
    Rick, such a program already exists.
  • by Tod Location: 7 springs on Mar 29, 2010 at 12:52 PM
    The same fools that thought the education lottery would help the schools think Obama care will help health care. What happened? The lottery did provide money for the schools, but the legislators took away the money that they used to send, so the kids didnt get more spent on education, just a similar amount from a different source. To all those who think Obama care is going to be a good thing I would simply ask 1: has Obama ever ran a business? NO , so why would we think he can get a handle on healthcare costs ? and question number 2: Is Obama a doctor, nurse any kind of health care professional? NO so what does he know about this subject. I am a nurse - the current system needs fixing but Obamas plan is not the answer. Remember most of the legislators that voted for and even against it admitted they have not read the whole ( over 2200 page) bill/law. Nancy Pelosi said and was quoted saying that " we need to get this thing passed so we can see whats in it"
  • by lets see Location: gville on Mar 29, 2010 at 12:49 PM
    Primary care is not only going to be an issue. My daughter (20), called 12 OB/Gyn groups in Pitt/Lenior/Wayne/Wilson counties non would accept any more Medicaid patients, some even told her because of her age (but it was really about Medicaid), works but cannot afford the insurance 450/month on minimum wage, called med school OB/GYN was not taking no more Medicaid patients either. Got her in w/ Family Practice and all is well. Specialist are going to be hard to find.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 29, 2010 at 11:53 AM
    Public Health #1 Location: Greenville, NC on Mar 29, 2010 at 10:19 AM..what would be your proposal ? Jus not treat them ? What is your answer to a PROBLEM that exsist today? Turn away all not paying,any one that has an outstanding medical debt or an uninsured? These post are so anti-health care they overlook the real needs.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 29, 2010 at 11:48 AM
    Wolfgang Location: Chocowinity,NC on Mar 29, 2010 at 11:58 AM ...you post sounds like a person that feels if "your child is sick and you can afford health insurance or can pay the bill the rest of can drop dead".sherry Location: greenville on Mar 29, 2010 at 01:18 PM..you need to check the situation now ! State and Federal funded Medical Universities already have a hand in some hopitals.This has been for many years because ofthe lack of Medical help.If you recieve help from a hospital or medical facility that is NC State funded and you don't pay the bill,it's likely a tax refund will be garnished.This has been going on for many years.GOOG POST RICK
  • by Anonymous Location: G'ville on Mar 29, 2010 at 11:25 AM
    Complain, complain, complain! Here's an indication that the Health Care Reform will also create more jobs and all the Obama-haters can do is complain.
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