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Colorado's Primary Care Workforce: A Study of Regional Disparities

How many primary care physicians treat patients in Colorado? Do we have enough working physicians,and are they in the right places, to provide primary care for all Coloradans? Most importantly, what can policymakers do to address these issues? The Colorado Health Institute has addressed these questions in a new study.
Date last upated: February 12, 2014

 

The new study finds the equivalent of 2,812 full-time primary care physicians among Colorado’s 3,332 practicing primary care physicians. This breaks down to an average Colorado panel size of 1,873 people for each practicing full-time primary care physician.

A new Colorado Health Institute study finds the equivalent of 2,812 full-time primary care physicians among Colorado’s 3,332 practicing primary care physicians. This breaks down to an average Colorado panel size of 1,873 people for each practicing full-time primary care physician.

From a big-picture perspective, that’s an adequate ratio. When you look closer, though, our study shows that while many areas have enough primary care physicians to care for the population, a number of others – primarily rural and underserved urban areas – likely do not have enough. 

And in many regions, low-income Coloradans enrolled in the Medicaid program may have limited access to primary care physicians who accept their insurance.