The Louisville Primary Care Association (LPCA) commissioned a comprehensive primary care and oral health needs assessment and workforce study for Jefferson County, Kentucky.
The initiative was driven by a concern about a perceived shortage of primary care providers and dentists and a desire to identify the scope of the unmet need as a first step to planning for an increase in the current capacity. The timing of the study coincided with the promise of expanded insurance coverage, and an anticipated increase in demand, as a result of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
The LPCA contracted with REACH Evaluation to staff the project under the direction of the Steering Committee. REACH evaluators (1) conducted an extensive literature review related to workforce issues within primary care and oral health, including methodologies associated with predicting future need, demand, and supply; (2) surveyed all licensed primary care professionals (physicians, physician assistants, and advanced registered nurse practitioners) and dentists in Louisville Metro, (3) analyzed current supply and projected the discrepancies between supply and need; (4) and facilitated the process whereby recommendations were determined. A final report of the process, findings, and recommendations was produced.
The research and data accumulated within the Workforce Study presents the most comprehensive look, to date, of the current workforce in Jefferson County. The findings within the study are being used to advance efforts to assure an adequate workforce in the future. Hopefully, the results of this study will enable the LPCA and members of the Steering Committee to more effectively plan for a future that assures accessible, quality healthcare for all its citizens.