New Study: Shortage of Primary Care Doctors
A new study that appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that we will have a major shortage of primary care doctors when we need them most: when the boomers are retiring and the Affordable Care Act introduces a ton of patients into the system.
We have been talking about this for years now and no one in DC seems to be listening. Once again, the issue is that reimbursement rates for primary care docs are, to put it frankly, pathetic! According to this study, primary-care physicians spend 60 percent of their time doing activities that are not currently reimbursed. If you were to ask anyone, in any other industry, to do basically 60% of their job for no pay, they would look at you and laugh.
We have gotten to a point in this country in which we believe that the doctor/patient relationship is a right and a privilege. People seem to forget that doctors go to school for over 10 years and make a gigantic investment in their education. They have agreed to take on this mighty challenge to help people out and to make this world a better place. If we want the Affordable Care Act to work, and lets be honest, there’s not much else on the table. But if we want it to work, we need physicians to be on-board and involved. As the current bill gets tweaked and changed for the better, we hope that this Congress and future ones reach out to physicians to gather their input so we can avoid these type of issues.
Sorry for the rant today, but we speak to physicians all day, everyday, who just want to make a positive difference and this is something that really gets us going.
What can be done so we can make a difference? Would love to hear from some of our readership.