Doctor Shortage to Worsen Under Medicaid Expansion

By Associated Press | 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- The planned expansion of Kentucky's Medicaid program coupled with a push to help the uninsured obtain health coverage will worsen the state's shortage of physicians.

That's the conclusion of Deloitte Consulting, a technology firm that's helping to set up the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange.

Gov. Steve Beshear announced earlier this month that he will expand the state's Medicaid program to cover an additional 300,000 people, most of them the working poor who don't now have insurance coverage. In addition, Beshear has ordered the creation of the health benefit exchange to help more than 300,000 others get insurance coverage.

The influx of more than 600,000 new patients could strain medical providers in the state, which already needs an additional 3,790 primary care physicians and specialists.

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