New Ranking Shows States with Best and Worst Patient Access to Physicians

Merritt Hawkins, VHHA Services’ endorsed physician recruitment services company, has released its 2015 Physician Access Index, a national survey that tracks nearly three dozen metrics that influence access to physicians, physician assistants (PA), and nurse practitioners (NP) in each state. As patients seek quicker access to physicians through urgent care centers, retail clinics, telehealth services, and other “convenient care” offerings, the new ranking system that incorporates 33 variables identifies states in which patients are likely to have the easiest access to physicians versus to states where access is likely to be the most difficult. Metrics evaluated by the survey include physicians per capita in the state, physicians trained per capita, physicians trained per capita who stay in the state, PAs and NPs per capita, percent of the population with health insurance, physician Medicare and Medicaid acceptance rates, household income, states incorporating telehealth, urgent care centers and retail clinics per capita, percent of physicians close to retirement, and a variety of others. For a free copy of the survey, please contact Brandon Halulka at or (770) 481-1136.