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Alarmed by a shortage of primary care doctors, Obama administration officials are recruiting a team of “mystery shoppers” to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it, reports NYT.
The administration says the survey will address a “critical public policy problem”: the increasing shortage of primary care doctors, including specialists in internal medicine and family practice. It will also try to discover whether doctors are accepting patients with private insurance while turning away those in government health programs that pay lower reimbursement rates.
Don’t be surprised if the "results" of this survey will imply that more government control of the sector is required, including making it mandatory for doctors to accept government healthcare programs. And that newly graduated medical students be required to "serve the country" by being required to practice for a period in a region of the country where no one wants to go.
Bottom line: If you are a physician under 45, you should be packing now, and pick up your practice somewhere in South America, or perhaps the Caribbean.
Reprinted with permission from Economic Policy Journal.