Senate Hearing Diagnoses Primary Care Access Crisis

A Senate subcommittee hearing held yesterday yielded some recommendations that could help the nation overcome its primary care access crisis and primary care physician shortage.

Patients are already having trouble finding a primary care physician, and the problem will worsen in 2014 as 30 million Americans gain health insurance coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

A report released at the hearing suggests the following as solutions to the primary care shortage.

•    Geographically dispersing community health centers, which increase patient access to primary care.
•    Expanding the Teaching Health Center program, which provides funds that further the development of residency programs.
•    Preparing students and encouraging careers in primary care.
•    Increasing the number of scholarships and loan repayment options for primary care practitioners.
•    Permitting allied health professionals, such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners, to practice at the top of their license.

More Articles on the Physician Shortage:

4 Keys to Physician Recruitment During the Shortage
Which States Have the Highest Concentration of Nurse Practitioners?
Is the Physician Shortage as Pressing as Reported?

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