Through its research efforts, the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care seeks to help inform policy solutions to the questions facing today’s primary care workforce. The Graham Center remains a leader in workforce analysis and application development intended to reveal the following: variations in primary care workforce; primary care provider-to-population ratios that optimize outcomes and align with need; factors that influence health care professionals’ decisions to practice in a primary care setting; maldistribution of physicians after they complete their training; and effectiveness of policies meant to expand and alter the primary care workforce.
Primary care physician (PCP) workforce shortages challenge the long-term viability of U.S. primary care. Using state and national data, the Graham Center projects to 2030 the state PCP workforce necessary to maintain current primary care utilization rates, accounting for increased demand due to aging, population growth, and an increasingly insured population due to the Affordable Care Act.
Many decisions that affect the health care workforce occur at the state level. The Graham Center has been called upon to help states and regions plan for the best and most efficient health care workforce, provide the best access to care for local populations, and contribute to improving health in communities. Communities that the Graham Center has worked with include New Orleans, Louisiana; Rhode Island; and North Carolina.