RED HOT Contributors

 

Physician Shortage Drives Wait Times, Harms Patient Care Access

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CREDIT: This post was originally published on this site

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March 23, 2017 – Doctors’ appointment wait times have increased by 30 percent since 2014, likely due to a growing number of insured patients and resulting physician shortages, according to a Merritt Hawkins survey.

The survey of physician practices in 30 mid-sized and large metropolitan areas found that patients face an average appointment wait time of 24 days. This is up from 18.5 days in 2014, 20.5 days in 2009, and 21 days in 2004.

Merritt Hawkins President Mark Smith explained that these findings are a strong indicator of a physician shortage that is negatively impacting patient care access.

“Physician appointment wait times are the longest they have been since we began conducting the survey,” Smith said in a press release. “Growing physician appointment

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