Physicians work scope is expected to change with millions of Americans to gain health insurance through the Affordable Care Act in 2014. On the upside Physicians especially primary-care provider will experience higher demand transforming to higher reimbursements and job security. However, on the other hand other healthcare reform initiatives would require better quality patient care at subsidized costs and hence the pressure of catering to a larger number of patients along with quality and cost targets will build up for physicians.
Physicians in certain locations are likely to face a tougher time compared to others, most probable providers in states currently facing physician shortages, will face the biggest challenge fitting in new patients into their busy schedules. Moreover states currently possessing the highest number of uninsured individuals will experience the highest increase of new patients.
According to 2011 Reports including rankings of states based on physician density and the 2011 insured population data:
Four states with the worst density/uninsured combination are:
|State||Uninsured population rate %||Least physician-dense|
|Texas||27.2%||One of the least physician – dense State|
|Mississippi||24.5%||Third least physician-dense State|
|Oklahoma||22.5%||Second least physician-dense State|
|Arkansas||21.0%||Seventh least physician-dense State|
The physicians in these states are likely to struggle the most in 2014 due to a high influx of patients and shortage of doctors with healthcare reforms demanding quality and cost benefits.
States with the most favorable density /uninsured combination:
|State||Uninsured population rate %||Most physician-dense|
|Massachusetts||5.3 %||One of the most physician-dense State|
|Maryland||11.4%||Second most physician-dense State|
|Connecticut||10.3 %||Fourth most physician-dense State|
|Vermont||9.2 %||Sixth most physician-dense State|
Physicians tackling the patient influx:
Even though the Obama administration has relaxed rules limiting the use of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, Physicians need to gear up for the expected patient influx especially in the states facing a physician shortage. Higher reimbursements and incentive may drive physicians to take on more patients; conversely insuring maximum claim generation while trying to maintain quality of care, dealing with new standards like HIPAA 5010, ICD-10, etc and government and private payers could seem as an insurmountable task to most of the Physician practices. However, services of skilled service providers possessing the requisite credentials can be availed by hospitals and medical practitioners.
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