We investigated whether geographic accessibility to primary care clinicians (PCCs) differed across urban and rural areas and across states with more or less restrictive scope-of-practice laws.
We found divergent patterns in the geographic accessibility of PCCs. PCMDs constituted the largest share of the workforce across all settings, but were relatively more concentrated within urban areas. Accessibility to nonphysicians was highest in rural areas: there were more accessible PCNPs per 100,000 population in rural areas of restricted scope-of-practice states (21.4) than in urban areas of full practice states (13.9). Despite having more accessible nonphysician clinicians, rural areas had the largest number of uninsured per PCC in 2012. While less restrictive scope-of-practice states had up to 40% more PCNPs in some areas, we found little evidence of differences in the share of the overall population in low-accessibility areas across scope-of-practice categorizations.”