Blog | Monday, December 15, 2008

Is it always about the primary care shortage?

There's an interesting article in the LA Times about a young doctor who had to give up her independent primary care office to go to work in a big, corporate practice. But it's hard to tell what conclusions to draw from her story. The article itself ties her problems to the infamous primary care shortage. The Wall St. Journal blog argues that the problem is that small practices don't work as a business model. And from my reading of the story, it seems to me that her problem was the opposite of what we think of the primary care crisis: she had a shortage of patients, maybe due to the economic crisis. Here at ACP, we were just talking this morning about the potential impact of the recession on physicians. Fewer primary care visits but more hospitalizations (because patients are skimping on chronic care)? More patients who come in for care but can't pay their bills? Is anyone seeing this out there yet?