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Doctor shortage could cause problems with healthcare reform
Come 2014 everyone will receive health care as a result of the Affordable Healthcare Act. But for the state of Nebraska and especially in rural communities there’s a shortage of primary care physicians which will have a dramatic effect on how patients are served in the area.
There’s a lot of uncertainty out there for doctors. One doctor tells News 5 his main concern is staffing with the overflow and already a shortage of physicians. How will they effectively meet the needs of patients?
"It's going to be hard to see those patients because there is not
enough primary care physicians in the community or in the state," said Dr. Zachary Frey, M.D.
Dr. Zachary Frey, M.D. at Mary Lanning Healthcare says there's a
lot of uncertainty when it comes to the Affordable Healthcare Act.
"How many patients are going to utilize the new system. How many
patients are going to have to change from what they're on now? That's
probably the scariest part," Frey said.
And even more alarming for the state of Nebraska, especially rural parts of the state: the University of Nebraska Medical Center found
that there are 1,140 primary care physicians in Nebraska. It’s anticipated that the state will need 1,685 primary care physicians to meet the increased demand by 2014.
"We're going to need to produce not only more primary care physicians," said Frey, "but also more physicians assistants, more nurse practitioners. It’s going to have to be a team approach to cover this many patients because there's no way that any one group can do it alone"
Of the 93 counties in Nebraska UNMC also show 11 which are all
rural do not have a primary care physician
"There are some programs out there to try and incentivize that low
reimbursement and repay back and those type of things but there's only so much you can do and there needs to be more funding more incentives to recruit physicians to those small towns," said Frey.
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