Experts Ponder Effect of Coverage Expansion on Supply of Doctors
Expanding health insurance coverage to 44,000 San Mateo County residents could translate to a need for an additional 170 physicians, some experts say, the San Francisco Examiner reports.
Bob Merwin, CEO of Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame, said that the county could need 120 more physicians in the next five years even without providing health insurance to the county's uninsured residents.
Dr. David Goldschmidt, president of the San Mateo County Medical Association, attributed the physician shortage in the county to a high cost of living and inadequate reimbursements from programs including Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program.
Partly because of the implications for the physician supply, a county task force studying options for expanding health insurance coverage has requested an extension of its deadline, according to S.T. Mayer, policy and program analyst for San Mateo County (Carpenter, San Francisco Examiner, 5/24).