Physician Shortage Could be Cut by New Primary Care Models

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.

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.

Health Affairs

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 .

"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."

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Source: Medical Xpress