Whitesburg KY

Bill addresses shortage of doctors

The Kentucky Medical Association has announced a plan to address the state’s physician workforce shortage and its negative effects on the healthcare delivery system. A recently released study conducted by the Kentucky Institute of Medicine says Kentucky needs 2,300 more doctors just to meet national standards.

The five-point plan includes:

• Ease health insurance burdens on families and physicians.

• Increase support for Kentucky’s medical schools and rural residency programs.

• Reject predatory lawsuits by passing medical liability reform.

• Safeguard seniors by improving Medicare and Medicaid funding for physician care.

• Ensure quality of care by keeping physicians as leaders of each healthcare delivery team.

Representative Bob M DeWeese, M.D., said he would introduce legislation that would ease health insurance burdens on families and physicians. Known as the Patient Physician Partnership Act of 2008, the bill would, among other things, allow parents to keep dependent children 25 years and younger on their health insurance policies. It would also require health insurance providers to devote a majority of premiums directly to patient care.

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