Projecting Demand for the Services of Primary Care Doctors: Working Paper

Demand for primary care is projected to rise slightly faster between 2013 and 2023 than in the previous decade. The paper outlines a number of ways—with and without federal intervention—in which supply might respond to rising demand.

Policymakers and other observers have raised concerns that demand for primary care services will exceed supply, which could adversely affect people’s health and might also increase total spending on health care. Defining demand as the amount of primary care that people received, we estimate that the general U.S. population demanded about $70 billion worth of services from primary care doctors in 2013. After being adjusted for general price inflation, that represents a 15.5 percent increase since 2003—when demand totaled about $61 billion (in 2013 dollars).

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