Kansas Health Institute

Kansas Health Institute has released this two-part series about the primary care workforce in Kansas:

Issue Brief #1: Defining the Primary Care Workforce in Kansas (April 2020)

Key points from the brief include:

  • There were 5,435 licensed clinicians in the primary care workforce in Kansas in 2019, of which 1,976 were physicians, 3,101 were nurse practitioners and 358 were physician assistants.
  • Physician assistants and nurse practitioners in Kansas cannot practice or prescribe in a location separate from a physician without an agreement with a physician.
  • Kansas had a total of 86 residency positions in primary care in 2019. However, some physicians who complete a primary care residency go on to complete additional training in a sub-specialty.
  • The median salary in Kansas was $143,380-$203,270 for a primary care physician (depending on specialty); and the median was $97,310 for a nurse practitioner and $103,120 for a physician assistant in 2018, although it may be less for those in primary care.

Issue Brief #2: Implications of an Aging Primary Care Physician Workforce in Kansas (April 2020)

Key points from the brief include:

  • The geographic distribution of primary care physicians (PCP) varies widely across the state. Generally, the southeast and southwest regions of Kansas have fewer PCPs available to serve the population.
  • The PCP shortage has serious implications for an aging population — by 2039, nearly one-quarter (22.5 percent) of Kansans will be age 65 or older, and likely will have increasing medical needs.
  • Aging of the physician workforce could further intensify the primary care workforce shortage as nearly 4 in 10 (39.2 percent) PCPs in Kansas are over the age of 55. Nearly half (45.2 percent) of PCPs practicing in southwest Kansas are age 55 and older, as are 42.5 percent of those practicing in southeast Kansas.
  • A multi-pronged approach to train, recruit and retain PCPs in Kansas is necessary to maintain and improve access to care across the state.