Local News
4:02 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Report: Kentucky Doctor Shortage Likely to Worsen With Health Care Expansion

A technology firm hired by the state says the planned expansion of Kentucky’s Medicaid program and the push to help the uninsured get health coverage will likely worsen the state’s shortage of physicians.

Gov. Steve Beshear announced earlier this month that he will expand the state’s Medicaid program to cover an additional 300,000 people, most of them working poor who don’t have insurance coverage.   He’s also ordered the creation of the health benefits exchange to help more than 300,000 others get coverage.

Deloitte Consulting  says the influx of new patients could strain medical providers in the state, which already needs nearly 3,800 primary care physicians and specialists.    

State and health care industry officials have been batting ideas around on how to address the problem, such as offering incentives to doctors to work in underserved areas, and more reliance on nurse practitioners or physicians assistants.