7M Americans Live in Possible Primary Care Shortage Areas

About seven million people could be drastically affected by primary care physician shortages after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act expands insurance coverage next year, according to a new study in Health Affairs.

The expansion of insurance coverage will raise demand for primary care physicians across the country and exacerbate the growing physician shortage, but some regions will be hit harder than others.

According to the study, about 44 million Americans live in areas where the estimated increase in demand for primary care is greater than 5 percent of current supply. Further, seven million people live in areas where demand will likely be 10 percent greater than the current supply after insurance coverage expansion.

The states with the largest projected demand increases, and therefore the states most likely to have dire physician shortages, are:

•    Texas
•    Mississippi
•    Nevada
•    Idaho
•    Oklahoma

The study's authors are Elbert Huang, MD, associate professor of medicine at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago, and Kenneth Finegold, PhD, social science analyst in the Division of Health Care Financing Policy, part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services.

More Articles on Insurance Expansion:

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Expands Medicaid
Medicaid Expansion: A State-by-State Layout
Wisconsin's Scott Walker Turns Down Full Medicaid Expansion

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