All people in North Carolina have access to comprehensive, high quality, affordable health insurance provided by clinicians who identify with the culture of people they serve.

Why Is This Important?

Primary care providers help to maintain and improve the overall health and well-being of communities. Access to primary care is associated with fewer health care disparities and better health outcomes across socioeconomic circumstances. HNC 2030, p. 86

Story Behind the Curve

In 2017, 62 counties in North Carolina met the recommended ratio of one primary care provider for every 1,500 residents. The growing demand and subsequent shortage of primary care, dental, and behavior health providers is largely due to the aging baby boomer population and overall population growth. The challenges are especially prevalent in rural communities which face difficulties recruiting and retaining health care professionals. Shortages in the primary care workforce in rural areas lead to an increase in unmet health care needs, delays in receiving care, forgoing of preventive care, preventable hospitalizations, and deaths. The 2030 goals are to have all 100 counties in North Carolina meeting the recommended ratio of 1 primary care worker: 1,500 population. HNC 2030 pp. 86-87

College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) 
Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC)
Duke Health’s Primary Care Preceptor Development Mini-Fellowship Program
Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC)
Mountain Community Health Partnership (MCHP)
NC DHHS Office of Rural Health
NC Medical Society
North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (NCAPA)
North Carolina Alliance for Health Professions Diversity (NCAHPD)
North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC)
North Carolina Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NCAFCC)
North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors (NCALHD)
North Carolina Community Health Center Association (NCCHCA)
North Carolina Healthcare Association (NCHA)
North Carolina Health Occupations Students of America (NC HOSA)
North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM)
North Carolina Medical Board
North Carolina Public Health Association (NCPHA)
North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA)
North Carolina Pediatric Society (NCPeds)
Office of Rural Initiatives at UNC
The Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at UNC
**Primary Care Advisory Committee (PCAC) Office of Rural Health
What Works
  • Ensure high speed internet access because it impacts telehealth, electronic health records and access to the controlled substance reporting system
  • Identify rural provider champions
  • Increase access and payment for specialist consults
  • Increase residency positions in rural areas
  • Increase rural health clinical rotations for physician assistants (PAs) and Advanced Practice Nurses (DNPs)
  • Increase support for all primary care providers
  • Increase telehealth primary care initiatives in rural areas
  • Invest in rural economies
  • Support increased funding for provider loan repayment programs that incentivize primary care providers to practice in medically underserved areas
  • Support pipeline programs in rural areas to encourage high school and college students to pursue careers in medicine/primary care
Description of Indicator Data

Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services - Research analysis of licensure data from North Carolina Medical Board and North Carolina Board of Nursing

Additional Data Needed at Local Level
  • Stories from consumers/residents and their experiences around access to primary care in their community
  • Secondary and post- secondary opportunities to pursue careers in health care
  • Telehealth availability
  • Contact information for all health care providers serving residents
Current Actual Value
Current Target Value
% Change
Scorecard Result Container Indicator Measure Action Actual Value Target Value Tag S R I P PM A m/d/yy m/d/yyyy