The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Breaking News

June 23, 2013

Indiana tangles with shortage of rural doctors

INDIANAPOLIS — Health care advocates in Indiana are looking at an improved training system for physicians and an expanded concept of what it means to see a doctor to help serve what's expected to be a crush of new patients seeking care starting next year.

Millions of people without health insurance nationwide are set to gain coverage in 2014 as part of the federal health care overhaul, commonly referred to as "Obamacare." As in many states, that will exacerbate problems in Indiana surrounding access to care in rural communities where is there is already a shortage of doctors and other health care providers.

"I think there's especially concern about the looming retirement of a lot of older physicians, and the expectation is because of that, and the expansion of health care, those factors will combine to make the existing shortage even more acute," said state Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, the chairman of the House Public Health Committee.

The state only recently determined the depth of the shortage. The passage of the health care law in 2010 exposed the lack of information in the state about availability of health care, and it took two years to compile a comprehensive report, said David Roos, executive director of the advocacy group Covering Kids and Families of Indiana.

Indiana has 3,951 primary care "clinicians," a catch-all description that includes physicians, physician's assistants and nurse practitioners, according to an August 2012 report written by researchers with the Indiana Center for Health Workforce Studies and Bowen Research Center at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

The goal for states is to have 100 primary care physicians available for every 100,000 residents. Researchers found Indiana only had 51 and the number drops precipitously in rural communities, said Dr. Richard Kiovsky, director of the Indiana Area Health Education Centers.

Text Only
Breaking News
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Do you think Madison County and its cities need stricter pet ownership laws?

Yes, animal abuse is rampant in our area and something needs to be done.
Yes, but it may not help. It’s difficult to enforce such laws.
No, the laws are fine as they are.
Not sure
     View Results