Limited supply of primary-care docs sparks competition among healthcare providers

From Modern Healthcare:

Federally qualified health centers that serve mostly poor and low-income families in distressed or rural communities have always had a tough time recruitingphysicians. And now, it’s getting even harder.

Health Center Partners of Southern California, a consortium of 17 community healthcare organizations with 126 sites, is in desperate need of 50 primary-care physicians. The patient population at the federally qualified health center network has grown significantly over the past few years.

“It’s a problem that’s always been there and it’s getting worse,” said Henry Tuttle, CEO for Health Center Partners. “When care reimbursement equations call for higher rates for specialty services, it also tends to drain what was originally available in the primary-care pool. Physicians who come through training … select a specialty rather than to stay in primary care.”

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