Study: Universal coverage won't solve primary care shortage

Regardless of whatever other benefits it might offer, universal coverage isn't going to solve health system problems created by the primary care provider shortage, a new study has concluded. The study, issued by the National Association of Community Health Centers, notes that these problems include 56 million Americans with no regular doctor. To help ease the primary care crunch, it recommends using federal community health centers as primary care anchors in communities that aren't able to attract or keep providers. It's also calling for a boost in funding for programs like the National Health Service Corps., which offers scholarships or repays student loans for providers who are willing to practice primary care in underserved areas. At present, there are seven applicants for every NHS scholarship offered, yet funding has been reduced frequently, noted Gary Wiltz, an NHS scholarship recipient who heads a public health group.

To get more data from the report:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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