Oct 14, 2010

Crisis in Primary Care

Crisis in Primary Care
Patients are experiencing more difficulty finding a primary care doctor, waiting longer for appointments, and visits have become shorter and rushed as doctors are forced to see more patients.

Big changes are occurring in today’s healthcare environment and physicians already are finding it very difficult to practice high quality personal medical care. The adult primary care specialties of Family Practice and Internal Medicine are in grave jeopardy of becoming extinct. Years of declining insurance company and Medicare reimbursements, skyrocketing practice overhead and ever increasing red tape have led to a major shortage of primary care medical doctors as the current generation is shrinking due to physician retirement and the lack of interest on the part of young physicians to go into primary care. As a result, patients are experiencing more difficulty finding a primary care doctor, waiting longer for appointments, and visits have become shorter and rushed as doctors are forced to see more patients in an “assembly line”, impersonal fashion. Needless to say this is not good medical care for patients who need more time with their doctors.

A 2007 Primary Care Survey conducted by Merritt Hawkins found huge majority of Family Practice and Internal Medicine doctors believed that a severe shortage of primary care doctors will develop in 5-10 years because of lowered reimbursement and administrative hassles.

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