The healthcare landscape is changing fast with the passing of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 with more people gaining access to healthcare and with insurance companies continuing to reduce provider reimbursements every year. This combination of factors has resulted in a significant increase in the demand for OB/GYN care and a significant decrease in OB/GYN physicians through retirement or not entering the field to begin with (Source - Health Resources & Services Administration). In response, many physicians are starting to migrate or have already migrated over to concierge medicine, where patients pay a membership fee to gain access to the physician of their choice along with other perks that are not normally available today. Many physicians from various fields of practice like Primary Care and Obstetrics & Gynecology, have opted to go this route as a means of escaping the stress and dissatisfaction of volume-based care in order to practice medicine the way it was designed to be practiced: one-on-one and personalized to maximize better health outcomes for patients.
So what does this trend mean for the average patient?
Well generally as more patients seek healthcare, scheduled appointments can be expected to move out days or even weeks before you’re able to see the doctor of your choice, especially if they’re great and have a strong reputation for exceptional service within the local community. Being able to see a quality doctor, when you need them may get more difficult over time as these trends persist.
What do things look like now that Roe vs Wade has been overturned?
Many experts expect the shortage of OB/GYN’s to worsen now with the overturning of Roe vs Wade and the federal protection of women’s right to abortion. Currently, 44% of soon-to-be certified OB/GYN’s are training at medical residency programs in states that have either banned or are expected to ban abortions (Source - Fortune). So if future OB/GYN’s will not be able to complete residency programs in Texas, then those doctors will choose programs out of the state, which will only make the shortage worse.