Nurse practitioners may fill gap created by Obamacare
A shortage of primary-care physicians may push patients toward other health care professionals who can provide similar services.
Obamacare may improve the healthcare provided to millions of Americans -- if they can get it.
Primary-care physicians are already hard to come by. With the Affordable Care Act, there will be 91,500 fewer physicians than needed in 2020, according to a study from the Association of American Medical Colleges. That shortage shrinks to 65,100 physicians if the Affordable Care Act is not fully implemented.
Bloomberg's Olivia Sterns suggests looking to other health care professionals to meet this need.
"When the Affordable Care Act actually kicks in there are going to be millions more Americans suddenly seeking out this kind of primary care because they finally have insurance," she said in the report. "One potential solution though to plus this gap is to try to transfer some of the load to nurse practitioners."
Two-thirds of nurse practitioners already provide primary care, according to the report. They can write prescriptions, provide physical exams, and serve as the first point-of-call for a sick patients. They can work independently or in a collaborative agreement with a physician.
Sterns met with Susan Apold, a nurse practitioner in New Rochelle, New York, to discuss her experience.
Apold said they nurse practitioners are a cost-effective necessary healthcare provider.
"If Affordable Care is going to work and if we're going to recognize savings we have to look at primary care, preventing the problem, and once a person has the problem, managing the problem," Apold said in the report.
All nurse practitioners have advanced degrees in nursing. Certification and license requirements vary by state. There are currently about 167,000 nurse practitioners in the U.S., according to the report. Sterns said that number is expected to grow to about 250,000 by 2025.
Sterns cited the New England Journal of Medicine's report showing that the cost of training three to 12 nurse practitioners is equal to the price of putting one doctor through medical school.
For every 100,000 Americans, there are 30 primary-care physicians, Sterns said. She compared this to the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, where there are 80, 157, and 159 physicians per 100,000 people, respectively.
A 1996 government study suggested having 60 to80 primary care physicians per 100,000 people, and 85 to 105 specialists per 100,000 people in the early 21st century.
Until that is possible, Sterns said nurse practitioners can help meet the need.
"This really is a hot sector of the job market," she said in the report. "And many are hoping could also be a smart way to bring down costs overall in U.S. healthcare system."
No. Not with the "Affordable Care Act." With the American Medical Association's pressure to keep the medical school student population smaller than it was in the 1980's, there will be fewer physicians than needed. There are two or three qualified applicants for medical school that are turned away each year for each one accepted because they artificially keep the number of doctors down.
Mirage Guy;Come up with some new lies.You`re wrong about everything.The market is up
over 100 thanks to Obama.You`re the only person I know of that doesn`t want to make
money.Do you expect us to roll with your lies?
"Obamacare" has nothing to do with this. Originally, insurance companies were reluctant to pay for ether's services. Now, thanks to the lower medical care cost efforts,as well as the providing doctors need to drastically increase the number of patients seen, NP's are becoming the norm.
Montana 10:If you hate the country, hate Obama, hate the Constitution so much why don`t
you just leave?That`s better than always whinning, crying, bellyaching and always being
bitter and hateful.We`re better off without negative hateful losers like yourself.
Two things for certain about this short article: 1) the comments posted here indicate that many readers motivated to write something are far too disturbingly stupid to understand and comprehend any aspect of the affordable care act; 2) several of the comments also indicate that the writers are blowhard liars who just make up phantasy phictions about medical services.
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