The ACA provides an opportunity for states to make health care coverage more accessible to Americans through Medicaid expansion and state health insurance exchanges. In California, 3.3M individuals will be newly eligible for Medi-Cal or subsidized coverage through Covered California. It is predicted that improved access to coverage will lead to increased utilization of health care services and a greater demand on California’s healthcare workforce and primary care providers.
Provider access continues to be an issue nationally and throughout California, and it is one that predates the Affordable Care Act. Throughout the country, policymakers and health leaders are employing a number of strategies to mitigate provider capacity issues. In California, the state’s diverse population, unique geography, and large size will require a multitude of strategies to combat provider shortages, and will require strategies that are innovative enough to address the needs of both rural and urban areas.
This report is a three-part series that discusses the state of the health care workforce and strategies for its development. This brief, Part I, will outline the problem and provide an overview of the strategies that have been used to improve provider access and build workforce capacity. Part II will highlight California’s efforts to create new points of access and incentivize further development of the health care workforce. In conclusion, Part III will provide ITUP’s recommendations on how the state can best utilize effective approaches to further support its existing workforce and improve points of access for more Californians.
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