Study: 52k More Primary Care Physicians Needed by 2025

With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in place, the country will need roughly 52,000 more primary care physicians by 2025 to cover the law's preventive care provisions and general population growth, according to a new study from the Annals of Family Medicine.

The total number of office visits to primary care physicians is projected to grow from 462 million in 2008 to 565 million in 2025 — an increase driven by population growth and aging, according to the study.

Population growth will demand 33,000 additional physicians by 2025, while another 10,000 will be needed to accommodate the aging population. The healthcare reform law's insurance expansion will call for another 8,000 physicians — a 3 percent increase in the current workforce.

Study authors said that in addition to increasing the supply of primary care physicians, policymakers must also consider physician distribution. "Our estimates do not account for the uneven distribution of services whereby some areas experience pervasive shortages. The newly insured will only exacerbate this maldistribution if they cluster in physician-scarce areas," according to the study.

The authors urged for more research on the association between workforce ratios and outcomes, where uninsured populations are located and where access to primary care is limited.

More Articles on Healthcare and Primary Care Physicians:

3 Short-Term Ways Hospitals Can Fight the Physician Shortage
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Primary Care Physicians Get Medicaid Pay Boost; OB/GYNs, ER Physicians Excluded

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