Affordable Care Act Expected To Increase Need For Primary Care Doctors

Jul 22, 2013

One of the many impacts of the new federal health care legislation is expected to be the demand for more primary care doctors.

The federal health care changes will make more Americans eligible for health care, and along with that trend, will be the need for more primary care physicians. Doctor Bridgette Wiefling  is vice president of Clinical Innovation at the Rochester General Health System. She notes that there already has been a shortage of primary care doctors around the country.

Wiefling says a recent survey in Monroe County showed  that 40 percent of primary care practices are already closed to new patients. She says young people, those in their 20s, may be among those finding it difficult to secure a primary care doctor.  

"Because they consider themselves to be well, and may or may not be in an insurance product right now, depending on the status of their parents , and their insurance plan, so I think there's going to be a big push for primary care providers ."

Wiefling says exacerbating the problem is that there may be a number of older doctors who will decide to retire rather than deal with the complexity of the new federal health care law.  

Wiefling's advice is that  if you don't already have an primary care doctor, you consider finding one before other parts of the new legislation take effect over the next year.