Access to Health Care
Ratio of population to primary care physicians
Number of primary care physicians in the county per 100,000 population
Story Behind the Curve
Primary care providers offer a usual source of care,3 early detection and treatment of disease,4 chronic disease management, and preventive care.2 Patients with a usual source of care are more likely to receive recommended preventive services such as flu shots, blood pressure screenings, and cancer screenings.
Federal regulations stipulate that, in order to be considered as having a shortage of providers, an area must have a population-to-provider ratio of a certain threshold. For primary medical care, the population to provider ratio must be at least 3,500 to 1 (3,000 to 1 if there are unusually high needs in the community).