Prevention and primary care are the focus of affordable healthcare, but it feels nearly impossible to get. I live in Boston, one of the, if not THE largest healthcare city in the country. The average wait time for a primary care provider is 52 days. That's 14 times longer than anywhere else in the U.S.
This isn't a new healthcare topic, but I'm bringing it back up because I've been trying to get a primary car
e provider for months now, and still don't have one. I think its crazy that getting my MPH was easier than getting a general practitioner. I've called places, gone through the registration process, been on hold, calls unreturned, only to find out that none of their providers were accepting new patients until winter of 2019.
Boston is specifically known for specialized care, research and medical education. With so much opportunity, providers may be focused on more than just primary care, leaving less time to dedicate to patients in search of that care.
Across the nation, there is a primary care provider shortage. The catch is, that although its the focus of making care more affordable, its one of the lowest paying medical paths. After four years of medical school, residency, and hundreds of thousand dollars of debt, its difficult to rationalize picking something that won't necessarily provide a return on investment financially.
Some people recognize that this is a flaw in the movement to promote preventative care, and have made efforts to correct and incentivize. This includes increasing reimbursement within primary care, hiring more Nurse Practitioners or Physician Assistants, and making the realm of working in primary care a less stressful environment.
While all of these are great ideas, they aren't bringing in the results necessary to get more people enrolled in primary care. It may take a systematic or political change to truly value primary care providers and the work that they do.
As always, I would love to hear your thought or answer any of your questions. Drop a comment below or send me an email, and be sure to follow @YourHealthcareScoop on Instagram for my healthcare updates.