The Checkup
3:44 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Here Come the Patients - Where are the Doctors?

Maryland expects 360,000 newly insured residents by 2020. Will it be hard for them - and harder for you - to see a primary care physician? Today on The Checkup, we ask whether Maryland is going to experience a primary care shortage, and what Southern Maryland is doing to keep the shortage it already has from getting worse.

Part of the impetus for the Affordable Care Act was the millions of Americans with no health insurance. More insured people, the idea went, the lower the premiums, and the fewer people overloading emergency rooms looking for routine care.

Well, that’s great, but…do we have enough primary care providers to absorb all the new enrollees? And for that matter…are there even enough right now?

In today's episode of The Checkup, our weekly series on how health care is changing in Maryland, senior producer Lawrence Lanahan tries to figure out whether there is a shortage, and what the state is doing to build the primary care workforce so it can accommodate new insurance enrollees through the Affordable Care Act.

Then Sheilah Kast talks about the current primary care shortage in Southern Maryland with Scott Intner, associate vice president for Business Development & Corporate Compliance at Calvert Memorial Hospital, and Colenthia Malloy, CEO of Greater Baden Medical Services, which operates health centers in Prince George’s, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties.

Want to tell us about your experience with primary care? E-mail us at thecheckup@wypr.org.

We looked at the primary care workforce back in 2010 just after the Affordable Care Act passed. You can listen to that story here.

Produced by Lawrence Lanahan.

Our series ‘The Checkup: How Health Care Is Changing in Maryland’ is made possible by grants from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the Baltimore Association of Health Underwriters, and HealthCare Access Maryland.