State roundup: Massachusetts physician shortage worsens

October 23, 2009

A look at state legislation affecting primary care doctors.

The shortage of primary care physicians in MASSACHUSETTS, the only state thus far that has required health insurance for its residents, is becoming more severe, according to an annual workforce survey released in September by the Massachusetts Medical Society. Less than 44 percent of internists are accepting new patients in the state, down from 58 percent in the last year. For family medicine, only 60 percent of physicians are accepting new patients, down from 65 percent last year and 70 percent in 2007.

The UTAH Health Exchange, a state-sponsored online portal where individuals, employers and employees can research and purchase health insurance went live in August and reached its goal of 136 small employer groups enrolled within the first two weeks. The state intends to open the exchange to more employers next year.