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Potential Solutions to the Quagmire of Persistent Rural PCP shortages

18 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2012 Last revised: 12 Apr 2012

Nicholas V. Vakkur

Trident University

Claude Berrebi

RAND Corporation; Hebrew University - The Federmann School of Public Policy and Government; University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics; Princeton University - Department of Economics; RAND Corporation - Labor and Population Studies

Date Written: April 11, 2012

Abstract

The empirical research documents a persistent shortage of Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) in US rural regions, as will limit the effectiveness of any effort to implement universal health coverage into the United States. As a result, it constitutes a critical policy issue of immediate importance. However, complexity has rendered repeated efforts to introduce a solution futile, belying an urgent need for an improved, conceptual understanding. To support this critical objective, this study purposively adopts a rigorous methodology known as root cause analysis (RCA), as a first for the literature in this context. Whereas the rural and metro PCP have been falsely interpreted as representing close substitutes, this comprehensive analysis reveals that the rural, shortage area PCP is a vocational commitment with unique, defining characteristics. Fresh insights into a problem that has spanned several decades enable this study to introduce a comprehensive strategy — as based upon seven, evidenced-based policy approaches — that receives strong empirical support as a potential means of reversing the intransient trend.

Keywords: Primary health care, universal coverage, rural health care, health care shortage, physician shortage, rand, rand Compare, healthcare policy, physician workforce issues

JEL Classification: A12, A20, D60, D78, D81, H51, I10, L18, L19, L39, K13, K30, L33, M31, M52

Suggested Citation

Vakkur, Nicholas V. and Berrebi, Claude, Potential Solutions to the Quagmire of Persistent Rural PCP shortages (April 11, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2035952 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2035952

Nicholas V. Vakkur (Contact Author)

Trident University ( email )

5665 Plaza Dr., 3rd Floor
CA, 90630
Cypress, CA 90630
United States

Claude Berrebi

RAND Corporation ( email )

Santa Monica, CA
310-393-0411 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rand.org/about/people/b/berrebi_claude.html

Hebrew University - The Federmann School of Public Policy and Government

Hebrew University
Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 951477
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1477
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.ucla.edu/people/Faculty/Berrebi.html

Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

Industrial Relations Section
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States
609-258-4777 (Phone)
609-258-2907 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.princeton.edu/~cberrebi

RAND Corporation - Labor and Population Studies ( email )

1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA
United States
310-393-0411 (Phone)

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