February 28th, 2013
Primary care access. With insurance coverage set to expand under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 44 million people live in areas where the projected increase in demand for primary care providers is greater than 5 percent of current baseline supply. Of those, seven million people live in areas where demand for primary care providers will exceed supply by more than 10 percent, Elbert Huang and Kenneth Finegold write in a February 20 Health Affairs Web First study.
With the national average for this shortage expected to be in the range of 1.5-2.4 percent, the findings of this study emphasize the need to promote policies that encourage more primary care providers to practice in areas where shortages will be exceedingly high, say Huang, an associate professor at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago, and Finegold, an analyst in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health and Human Services.
Rx drug monitoring. A February 13 Health Affairs Web First study finds that prescription monitoring programs, although originally designed to help law enforcement and regulatory agencies spot possible illegal activity, are now also helping health care providers improve patient safety and quality of care.Read the rest of this entry »