Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physician shortage could be cut by new primary care models

Date:
November 4, 2013
Source:
RAND Corporation
Summary:
The US expects a substantial shortages of primary care physicians in the future. A new study finds that much of that gap could be eliminated if the nation increases use of new models of care that expand the role of nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Under plausible expansion scenarios, patient-centered medical homes and nurse-managed health centers could eliminate 50 percent or more of the primary care physician shortage by 2025.

Much of the shortage of primary care physicians expected over the next decade could be eliminated if the nation increases use of new models of medical care that expand the role of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Expansion of patient-centered medical homes and nurse-managed health centers could help eliminate 50 percent or more of the primary care physician shortage expected to face the U.S. by 2025, according to findings published in the November edition of the journal Health Affairs.

"Growing use of new models of care that depend more on nonphysicians as primary care providers could do much to reduce the nation's looming physician shortage," said David Auerbach, the study's lead author and a policy analyst at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "But achieving this goal may require changes in policy, such as laws to expand the scope of practice for nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and changes in acceptance, on the part of providers and patients, of new models of care."

Forecasts suggest that as more Americans seek health services once they become newly insured under the Affordable Care Act, physician shortages could worsen. Prominent groups have projected shortages of primary care physicians as high as 45,000 physicians by 2025. Those forecasts do not account for changes in how primary care is delivered, however.

Both patient-centered medical homes and nurse-managed health centers are models of primary care that use a mix of medical providers that is richer in nurse practitioners and physician assistants than today's predominant models of delivering medical care.

Medical homes typically use a team-based approach that incorporates physicians, advance practice nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, nutritionists and other health professionals. They now account for about 15 percent of primary care nationally.

Nurse-managed health centers provide a full range of primary care and some specialty services. They are managed and operated by nurses, with nurse practitioners functioning as the primary care providers. The clinics now account for only 0.5 percent of primary care and typically are affiliated with an academic health center.

If medical homes expand to deliver nearly half of primary care, the nation's expected physician shortage would fall by 25 percent, according to the RAND study. If nurse-managed health centers expand to account for 5 percent of primary care, the doctor shortage would fall by another 25 percent.

Researchers say those growth rates are plausible under the Affordable Care Act. The use of medical homes has been growing rapidly and the Affordable Care Act provides up to $50 million to support nurse-managed health centers.

But there also are obstacles to wider adoption of the approaches, according to the study. State laws may need to be changed to widen the scope-of-practice for both nurse practitioners and physician assistants so they can fill a wider role in primary care.

In addition, there is a need for medical assistants, licensed practical nurses and aides to perform key functions in the new care models, as well as new payment approaches that reward providers for moving to efficient and effective modes of care.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by RAND Corporation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. G. Chen, D. I. Auerbach, U. Muench, L. A. Curry, E. H. Bradley. Policy Solutions To Address The Foreign-Educated And Foreign-Born Health Care Workforce In The United States. Health Affairs, 2013; 32 (11): 1906 DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2013.0576

Cite This Page:

RAND Corporation. "Physician shortage could be cut by new primary care models." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104162518.htm>.
RAND Corporation. (2013, November 4). Physician shortage could be cut by new primary care models. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104162518.htm
RAND Corporation. "Physician shortage could be cut by new primary care models." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104162518.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins