Innovative Programs Help Blunt Problems Caused By Primary Care ShortageUSA Today: "The shortage of primary care doctors could lead to longer waits not only for primary care, but also for specialty care as well as greater use of expensive emergency rooms for non-emergencies, researcher Walt Zywiak of Computer Sciences Corp., an international consulting company headquartered in Falls Church, Va., noted in a July report. But some innovative programs provide a glimpse of what the future of primary care - a future in which a one-on-one visit at the doctor's office takes a back seat - could look like. They include: A Portland, Ore., practice where doctors provide more care via the phone or e-mail than face-to-face. A Massachusetts practice that offers 'shared medical appointments' for six to 14 patients. A Philadelphia clinic in which nurse practitioners, who have earned master's or doctorate degrees and have trained in the diagnosis and management of health problems, provide primary care" (Rubin, 8/15).
ABC News: "No matter how many nurses walk through Michael Fazio's door looking for jobs, it's never enough. Despite a U.S. unemployment rate approaching 10 percent, Fazio's Manhattan-based company, Prime Staffing, which specializes in placing New York-based nurses, has such an extraordinary demand for nurses that it can't fill all of the vacancies. But even that might not be a wide enough net. The United States faces a looming national nursing shortage, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. In December 2009, workforce analysts with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that more than 581,500 new registered nurse positions would be created through 2018, which would increase the size of the RN workforce by a whopping 22 percent" (Perozzi, 8/14). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.