Healthcare reform will create a shortage as demand for doctors exceeds supply
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) July 04, 2012
Primary care doctors are the gatekeepers of the US health system. They often provide the first point of contact for people seeking healthcare by providing care for the overall body. The essential nature of industry services has contributed to revenue growth during each of the five years to 2012, despite the recession. During this time, revenue is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 2.4% to $171.8 billion. Revenue growth decelerated during the economic recession as individuals lost insurance coverage because of unemployment or falling income. In 2012, growth accelerated slightly to 3.2%, versus 2.5% in 2011. “In the years ahead, the Primary Care Doctors industry is forecast to benefit from continued improvement in the economy and the healthcare reform laws of 2010,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Sophia Snyder. “Most notably, the reform aims to provide health insurance to a considerably larger portion of the population in 2014.” These factors will boost revenue, which is forecast to increase during the five years to 2017.
While healthcare reform will increase demand for the services of the Primary Care Doctors industry, it will also strain the supply of primary care doctors. “There have long been concerns that the United States will face a primary care physician shortage,” adds Snyder, “but various economic indicators do not point to a current shortage.” Nevertheless, if the majority of uninsured people gain coverage in 2014, there could be a shortage of primary care doctors in the near future. As more physicians are demanded, wages are set to increase.
The rise in demand will also pressure primary care doctors to be more efficient in order to see more patients. While the industry is dominated by small firms, some consolidation has been occurring during the five years to 2012. According to the National Institute of Health Statistics, the percentage of visits to physicians who are solo doctors has been decreasing, while visits to physicians who were part of a group practice have been increasing. Managing hospital employed primary care physician networks is financially challenging. Most networks operate with a negative budget and require subsidies. Primary care provider losses are the norm, and few, if any, consider employed primary care providers to be profitable. Nonetheless, it is felt by hospital executives that owning such networks is important for the maintenance of market share, so the losses are tolerated. Consequently, during the past five years, the trend of hospital acquisitions of primary physician practices has continued. During the next five years, the number of industry operators is projected to decline. Consolidation will help improve profitability as costs, such as marketing, are spread across a larger revenue base. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Primary Care Doctors in the US industry report page.
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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics
This industry includes primary care doctors that have the degree of MD (doctor of medicine) or DO (doctor of osteopathy). These doctors are primarily engaged in a practice based on a broad understanding of all illnesses, and do not restrict practice to any particular field of medicine. Industry operators are trained for comprehensive first contact and continuing care for persons with any undiagnosed health concern.
Key External Drivers
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Products & Services
Globalization & Trade
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
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