HE005

The United States is projected to experience a significant shortage of primary care physicians (PCPs) and registered nurses (RNs), which is expected to intensify with the aging baby-boomer population. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS, 2013), it has been estimated that by 2020 the country could experience a shortage of 20,400 or more primary care physicians, which often affects those living in inner-city communities and rural America. These shortages will be alleviated by the increased number of physician assistants and nurse practitioners, which will grow by 30% (HHS). According to Shi and Singh (2015), by 2020 there could be a deficit of Registered Nurses of over 300,000. As the need for healthcare grows, the uneven distribution and growing deficit of resources and providers leaves a large percentage of Americans at risk.

Reference: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, National Center for Health Workforce Analysis. (2013). Projecting the supply and demand for primary care practitioners through 2020. Retrieved from http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/healthworkforce/supplydemand/usworkforce/primarycare/

Explain why there may be a shortage of PCPs in rural and inner-city communities. (1–2 paragraphs)
How is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) addressing the shortage of PCPs and RNs? (1–2 paragraphs)
What other programs are available to address the shortage of primary care physicians and nurses? What action are the programs taking? (1–2 paragraphs)
How is the shortage impacting healthcare delivery? Be specific by providing examples and support your response with academic resources. (1–2 paragraphs)

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