Factors Influencing Health Care Access in Rural Health Professional Shortage Areas
Final rept. Jul 1991-Jul 1992
ACADEMY OF HEALTH SCIENCES (ARMY) FORT SAM HOUSTON TX HEALTH CARE STUDIES DIV
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Access to healthcare is a continuing problem, particularly in rural America. The rising costs of care, the resistance of physician providers to enter primary care medicine or enter practice in isolated settings, the emphasis on curative rather than preventive medicine, restrictions by third party payers, and state practice laws are all factors influencing the access problem in rural America. The providers of care in this country are not all physicians many are classified as physician extenders. Both physicians and physician extenders tend to choose employment in settings similar to the sites where they receive their clinical training. This may indicate that states without education programs may be at an immediate disadvantage in the struggle to meet primary care health needs. Physician Assistants PA are limited in the scope of their practice by state laws which restrict their functionality in healthcare delivery. These laws also impose access barriers by limiting PA availability in sites and facilities which also lack physicians. The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between states enabling legislation for one category of physician extender, the Physician Assistant PA, and four independent variables prescribing authority, dispensing authority, satellite practice authority, and the presence of a PA educational program school in the state. The dependent variable, proactivity, will be the degree of state health professional shortage areas HPSAs. may assist states with severe rural health manpower shortages in developing a viable plan for meeting the primary care health needs of their communities. Rural health, Physician assistant, Physician extender, Health care access, HPSAHealth Professional Shortage Area.
- Medicine and Medical Research