An impending medical crisis: Millions of Californians may be set to receive healthcare coverage under President Obama’s healthcare reform bill, but with so many ready to jump on board, one question lingers. Where are all of the doctors?
State lawmakers have some ideas on how to combat what could become a crippling shortage in California.
They are working on proposals that would allow physician assistants to treat more patients and nurse practitioners to set up independent practices. Pharmacists and optometrists could act as primary care providers, diagnosing and managing some chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and high-blood pressure.
But many doctors’ groups aren’t exactly happy with the idea of expanding the definition of medical practitioners.
Doctors say giving non-physicians more authority and autonomy could jeopardize patient safety. It could also drive up costs, because those workers, who have less medical education and training, tend to order more tests and prescribe more antibiotics.
(Photo via Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images)
Obese adults should get counseling, federal task force says: Under the healthcare law, insurance companies would be required to cover the panel’s recommended weight-loss treatments.
Obesity and obesity-related diseases are already responsible for an estimated $147 billion in annual healthcare spending. Widespread adoption of the panel’s recommendation would increase that spending, at least initially.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the law this week.
Photo: A federal health advisory panel recommends that all obese adults receive intensive counseling in an effort to rein in an American health crisis. Credit: Jeff J. Mitchell / Getty Images