Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Solving Many of the United States' Primary Care Challenges

With the Affordable Care Act being upheld earlier this summer, there will a large flux on individuals with insurance coverage that require primary care. As many of our previous blog posts have already discussed, there is already a primary care provider shortage and this shortage is expected to grow even further after 2014.

The most recent Charting Nursing's Future, published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, highlighted how nurses can help solve many of primary care’s most pressing challenges, including access and cost.

Gene Steuerle, writing for his own blog, The Government We Deserve, also focused on the role of nurses in reducing costs while providing the same level, or even better care than physicians for many basic services. Mr. Steuerle, who is a renowned economic and tax expert, argued that the current primary care provider shortage is a result of an uncompetitive industry unwilling to relinquish control over services that many non-physicians have the training and education to provide.

Finally, a collaborative group of scholars published a thorough article in the New England Journal of Medicine, highlighting how our health system can reduce costs while improving care. The utilization of nurses and other allied health professionals was highlighted by the authors as an integral piece of reforming our broken health system.

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