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Health overhaul likely to strain doctor shortage

5 years ago March 29, 2010 Mar 29, 2010 Monday, March 29 2010 Monday, March 29, 2010 4:22:16 AM CDT in News
Source: Associated Press
By: Andrea Fontenot

Primary care physicians already are in short supply in parts of the country, and with the new health overhaul law, newly insured patients will put an extra strain on the supply.

Only 30 percent of U.S. doctors currently practice primary care, and 65 million people live in areas designated as having a shortage of primary care physicians.

Recently published reports predict a shortfall of about 40,000 primary care doctors over the next decade.

It's a field losing out to the better pay and hours of many other specialties.

Provisions in the new law offering things such as bonus payments for certain physicians to reverse the trend.

Nationally, the big surge for primary care won't start until 2014.

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