- A Drudge headline right now highlights this medical math: 30 million Americans currently without health insurance will be getting coverage next year. But by 2020, there’s a projected shortage of 45,000 primary care physicians.
- This seems like a big problem. But there is an obvious solution: Give more autonomy to nurse practioners. As this AARP blog post points out, “the American Association of Nurse Practitioners [have] 43,000 members who say they can offer basic care if state laws would just let them set up an independent practice without doctor supervision.”
- Clayton Christensen argues that nurse practitioners working in retail clinics — such as those at Walmart, CVS and Target – can offer care as good as or better than what doctor’s offices provide — at about 40% lower cost.
- Family doctors, not surprisingly, hate this idea. Then again, established players never much like disruptive innovation.
Do you see how bullshit claims like this, which claims NPs offer” as good or better care”, are perpetuated? That is such garbage. There are no good studies to prove that and I recently have blogged about a study, which are finally being done, showing the opposite. And I love that they think that we family docs hate disruptive innovation. Kiss my ass, dude. Retail clinics treat simple things. Complex issues needs time and a relationship with your doctor….your family doctor. Fragmenting care is not innovation. If you want to solve the physician shortage, and they really mean primary care doctor shortage, then tweak the payment system so medical students choose that specialty. It is that TWEAK that will be disruptive innovation!