Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We Need New Models to Meet the Health Care Demand

As a result of the recently passed health care reform legislation, health coverage will be extended to an estimated 34 million currently uninsured Americans by 2019.  This legislation will drive more and more consumers into an already over extended health care system.  It's estimated that about 65 million Americans currenly live in communities with a shortage of primary care doctors.

But some innovative programs provide a hopeful glimpse of what the future of primary care could look like.

Donna Torrisi directs (and helped found) the Family Practice and Counseling Network in Philadelphia.  This practice features nurse practitioners with master's or doctorate degrees providing primary care.  The organization provides care for all ages while serving the poor and uninsured.

Torrisi's work was recently featured in the USAToday article, "Innovative health programs counter primary care shortage," by Rita Rubin which featured other remarkable programs as well.

To read more about Torrisi's network as well as to learn about a practice in Portland, Oregon, where doctors provide most care via phone or e-mail and a Massachusetts practice which offers shared medical appointments, please click here.

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