The increase in about 25 million newly insured patients under the Affordable Care Act arrives at a time when the nation already has 15,000 fewer primary-care doctors than it needs, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Currently, uninsured patients are more likely to not go to a doctor when sick or skip prescriptions. The uninsured are less likely to be up to date on cholesterol, blood-pressure and cancer screenings.
More demand for healthcare may lead to months-long waits to see doctors, delays in finding specialists and strains on hospitals and outpatient clinics, healthcare experts have said.
As many as 7 million uninsured Americans have begun shopping for private plans through government-run exchanges, with Medicaid programs expanded in about half the states come January 1.
“It’s like we’re handing out bus tickets and the bus is already full,” said Perry Pugno, vice president for medical education at the American Academy of Family Physicians. “The shortfall of primary-care access is not an insignificant problem, and it’s going to get worse.” Read the full article here:
Doctors’ offices soon could be very busy
Another impact of the Affordable Care Act would be newly insured patients seeking medical care and crowding the offices of physicians. Preventative care? Sounds like a good thing.
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