Family doctors and experts - Not enough primary-care doctors for two reasons - Time and Money
Posted May 10 2009 10:42pm
This is not a big secret and unfortunately there’s no amount of computer algorithms that can figure out how to create more ways for these folks to get around and take care of everyone. I think we have milked that cow to the end with business intelligence. Automation and technology as it is implemented will improve and help with time management, but there’s still a number of “able bodies” needed to see patients, in other words, Family Practice Physicians.
The map below shows access around the country and obviously in less populated areas, there is less access. The time portion could be greatly helped without all the administrative work with a practice required for billing, procedure approvals, etc. As statistics show, only 16% of a doctor’s time is actually devoted to healthcare, so there’s a lot of room for improvement for this, beyond where the doctor’s have control, they are just living in the system and not the creators. BD
A Scripps Howard News Service review found that access to primary care is deteriorating, driving millions of people outside traditional family practices or leaving them without care. Even millions of the insured often find it impossible to see a doctor except in an emergency room or walk-in clinic.
The Scripps Howard analysis compared the number of primary care doctors in each U.S. county with the number of deaths and found a clear, consistent pattern:
Counties with more primary care physicians had lower death rates than those with fewer family doctors. They also had a lower rate of death from preventable diseases like hypertension, heart disease and colon cancer.
The death rate from hypertension - elevated blood pressure that usually can be controlled through diet, exercise and medicine - is 32 percent greater in the counties with the fewest doctors when compared to the counties with the highest number of doctors.