Public Option would lead to increased physician shortages – Healthcare Economist


That is the conclusion from a recent report from some of my colleagues at FTI Consulting’s Center for Healthcare Economics and Policy. In the report titled “Protecting the Pipeline: How a Public Option Could Impact Our Nation’s Health Care Workforce”. An excerpt and some empirical findings are below.

…government rate setting under a public option may exacerbate health care workforce shortages. Our analysis assumed the public option would reimburse physicians less than private insurance and would increase the share of patients on government plans, which may lead to reductions in provider incomes. This could pose an issue for workforce recruitment and retention, discouraging aspiring workers from entering the field and prompting early retirements. These findings corroborate previous studies conducted by FTI Consulting, which found a public option could leave hospitals in financial distress, leaving them no choice but to reduce their service offerings, hours of operation, or time spent with patients to remain afloat. Our results also support prior research indicating low payment rates under a public option could lead to workforce reductions and other measures that could be detrimental to the quality of patient care.

Do read the entire report here.


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