Avalere Health study finds shortage of Primary Care Physicians in Illinois

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ILLINOIS – Avalere Health recently released a national study that noted a number of states, Illinois included, are facing a shortage of primary care physicians.

The study analyzed the shortage, as well as the costs that consumers would face if Illinois enacted a new prescription requirement for existing over-the-counter (OTC) medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE). It found 57 million Americans live in regions that lack adequate access to primary healthcare due to a shortage of physicians in their communities.

This study also estimates the U.S. health system will have a deficit of 52,000 doctors by 2025, but an increasing population is in need of primary care.

President and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association Rob Karr explains the study proves a prescription requirement for cold and allergy containing PSE would only make the shortage worse, as well as hurt Illinois consumers with no benefit.

The study highlights that in Illinois specifically, the state has 229 primary care physician shortage areas, with 27 percent of residents already living in an area without enough doctors.

A new prescription requirement for current OTC medicines containing PSE would create an additional 42,852 doctor visits in the state, which would create an “unnecessary workload burden” on physicians. It would cost $1,400,000 in new Medicaid spending on those unnecessary visits and prescriptions, and result in $200,000 in lost sales tax revenue for Illinois in the first year alone.

The full study can be found here.

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