Legislative measures are on the books to expand access to primary care through allied health providers
Healthcare shortages. Sounds like a political sound bite, but it’s a reality for Americans. With the onset of health reform and millions of uninsured getting first time access to health insurance, the terms “healthcare shortage” are frequent in daily newscasts. The shortages refer to a projected shortage of physicians over the next two decades, with the major deficit hitting the primary care specialty. There is also a growing population of baby boomers who require greater medical attention, and the millions of patients living in underserved health service areas and rural communities.
The best solution on the table to address these shortages is a push for more allied health services. In California, legislation has been introduced to improve patients’ access to allied professionals and remove restrictions on some allied professions, such as certified midwives, physical therapists, and pharmacists. For physical therapists, the legislation proposes allowing patients direct access to physical therapy without a prescription from a physician. Read more about the proposed legislation in California on The California Report blog here.
As allied health professionals and hospital employees, we’re curious to hear your take on these legislative measures. Are these types of bills improving Americans’ access to medical care? Do they do enough to remove restrictions on allied professionals? Let us know by leaving a comment below.