Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Massachusetts Update

The Massachusetts Medical Society recently released its "2010 Physician Workforce Study".

The results confirm what we've known from prior years -- waiting time to see a doctor remains long. Some key findings include:
* The primary care specialties of family medicine and internal medicine are in critically short supply, the fifth consecutive year of shortages for these specialties.

* 10 of 18 specialties studied have been found in short supply, 3 more than last year.

* High percentages of primary care practices are closed to new patients: 54 percent of family medicine physicians and 49 percent of internal medicine physicians are not accepting new patients.

* Wait times for new patients for primary care continue to be long, with an average wait time of 29 days for family physicians and 53 days for internists.
The head of the MA Medical Society, Dr. Alice Coombs, attempts to argue that the MA "universal" plan has resulted in "improved access to care". But she is committing the standard fallacy of conflating "coverage" with actual care. Patients in MA may have theoretical "coverage" but that's not the same as actually getting medical care.

The MA plan remains a failure. And once the newly-elected Congress is sworn in, they should make a priority of defunding (and eventually) repealing ObamaCare, before the rest of the country experiences the same failure.