11-18-11: Providing Primary Care
By 2020, hundreds of thousands more Marylanders are expected to have health insurance than have it now – a third of a million more. That’s assuming the federal health care law goes into effect as scheduled. But, even if all these people are ready to receive health care, there may not be someone there to provide it: Fewer than 2% of medical students go into primary care. The main reason they cite is low compensation.
Last week, the state announced a plan to expand the primary care workforce in Maryland by 25 percent.
Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown painted a rosy vision of the future, stating “The more high quality jobs we can create in Maryland, the more we’ll be able to strengthen the middle class, and the more we’ll be able to strengthen our communities. We’ll build strong communities in which health care will be available to more of our neighbors than ever before.”
Among the tactics the plan laid out: increasing compensation and creating more opportunities for nurse-practitioners and physician assistants to train.
We wanted to figure out who can help to provide primary care in Maryland—and how can the state keep them in those jobs.
Sheilah talks about it with Susan Delean-Botkin, a nurse practitioner who runs a private practice in Easton. She’s also president of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland.
David Hexter a doctor of emergency medicine in Baltimore, is on the board of the state medical society, Med Chi.
We also want to thank Marcus Rosano at Montgomery College for providing audio of the press conference where the new initiative was announced.
For more background on why MD has a shortage of primary MDs, check out this 2010 segment.