HealthDay News –The anticipated increased demand for primary health care providers with implementation of the Affordable Care Act is unlikely to be disruptive, but it might hit some geographic areas harder than others, researchers estimate.

“Despite the limitations of our analysis and the uncertainties surrounding the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, this study shows the major local variation in the expected need for primary care services and providers with insurance coverage expansion,” Elbert S. Huang, MD, MPH, of the University of Chicago, and Kenneth Finegold, PhD, from the Office of the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C., reported in Health Affairs.

They estimated 7,200 additional primary care healthcare providers — equivalent to 2.5% of the current supply — will be needed to meet the increased demand expected as insurance coverage expands.

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A total of seven million people live in areas where the anticipated increased demand exceeds 10% of the supply, whereas 44 million live in areas where the expected increased demand is more than 5% of the baseline supply.

“These findings highlight the need to promote policies that encourage more primary care providers and community health centers to practice in areas with the greatest expected need for services,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Huang ES, Finegold K. 2013; doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2012.0913.