Is there a doctor in the house?

As it becomes more difficult for people to find primary care physicians, we must begin to look for solutions before a complete crisis engulfs us.

Many primary-care physicians who have moved to the concierge model accept a certain number of patients, all of whom pay several thousand dollars a year, and they don't accept any kind of healthcare insurance. This greatly reduces their expenses, guarantees a stable income and allows some quality in their lives, for they don't have to rush through patients in 15 minutes.

We should be asking ourselves, what will happen when virtually all physicians go to similar models, and what can be done to avoid this?

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First, we must find ways to reduce the debt accumulated by medical students, many of whom exit medical school with debt in excess of a quarter of a million dollars. Even though many of them would love to become primary care physicians, they feel that they must pursue more lucrative specialties because of financial pressures.

Secondly, reimbursements under Medicare and Medicaid are marginal in terms of profit. With the scheduled decrease in physician payments associated with ObamaCare, in many cases seeing Medicare and Medicaid patients will actually cost money. Even though many physicians feel a moral obligation to see these patients, the financial pressures will eventually obliterate their humanitarian tendencies.

Unless we begin to seriously and quickly address these kind of issues, we will face a crisis in medical access for all but the wealthy in our society. The very thing that ObamaCare was supposed to solve will be severely exacerbated and we will all be losers in the end.

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