KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Study Predicts Shortage of Primary Care Doctors Will Worsen

A study details the depth of the shortage of new primary-care doctors by 2025.

The Hill: Study: US Faces Shortages Of 52,000 Doctors By 2025
The United States will need about 52,000 new primary-care doctors as the population grows and ages, according to a new study. Research published in the Annals of Family Medicine estimated that most of the doctor shortage will be caused by the rising U.S. population. Aging adults and the expansion of healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act will contribute to a lesser extent, the study found. Researchers predicted that the U.S. population will increase 15.2 percent by 2025, necessitating about 33,000 more physicians (Viebeck, 11/20).

San Jose Mercury-News: The Numbers: Shortage Of Physicians Expected To Worsen
Here is a look at the numbers: Two to 4 million Californians, and 32 million people nationally, will obtain insurance in 2014 under the national health reform law. ... Nearly one-third of all physicians are expected to retire in the next decade, just as more Americans seek care. Only about 20 percent of American medical students go into primary care, according to the Council on Graduate Medical Education (Kleffman, 11/20).

Other media outlets explore the role of doctors in the purchase of illegal foreign drugs as well as the merger of nurse practititioner groups -

The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Fake-Drug Probe Puts Spotlight On Role Of Doctors
A Tennessee cancer doctor has pleaded guilty to purchasing illegal foreign drugs, as part of a long-running investigation into overseas distributors that sold fake versions of the cancer drug Avastin and other unapproved medicines to U.S. clinics. The physician, William Kincaid of Johnson City, Tenn., who signed a plea agreement last week, is among the first to face charges in the probe. Dozens of doctors were warned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that they may have purchased the fake Avastin from distributors owned by Canada Drugs (Weaver, 11/20).

Modern Healthcare: Nurse Practitioner Associations To Merge
Two professional associations representing nurse practitioners have announced plans to merge, creating a newly formed organization of roughly 40,000 members. Effective Jan. 1, 2013, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American College of Nurse Practitioners will be known as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, according to a news release (McKinney, 11/20).

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