Americans are already struggling with a shortage of primary care doctors. While some fear that insuring more people will make it even harder to find a doctor, groups like the American Medical Association say the new law will help improve the situation.
- Medicare will give extra payments to physicians and nurses providing primary care in areas with doctor shortages. Adjusting Medicare payments to reflect regional differences will benefit doctors in 42 states, the AMA says. Medicaid doctors will see pay increases. Paperwork will be simplified, to give doctors more time with patients.
- New measures to attract more doctors, nurses and physician assistants to primary care include forgiving student loans for those who practice in areas that need medical workers. Community health centers will receive $11 billion starting in 2011, allowing them to serve some 20 million new patients.
- More health professionals in Medicare will be paid for the quality of care they provide rather than the number of services they perform—a change that is expected to lower costs while improving care and is likely to be adopted by private insurers, too.
More Insights About the New Health Care Law
- Five Things in the Law That May Surprise You
- Will My Taxes Go Up?
- Who Must Have Insurance?
- Coverage as Good as Congress’?
Other Insurance Situations
- If You Receive Employer Insurance
- If You Run a Small Business or Work for One
- If You’re Uninsured or Buying Your Own Insurance
- If You Have a Moderate or Low Income
- Just Where Are Those Savings Coming From?