Four years ago, a series of articles in The Rheumatologist talked about the practice of rheumatology in rural settings. Since then, changes have occurred, with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), differences in reimbursement and the trek toward value-based payment systems.
One major concern expressed in the original article was the fact that many of those practicing outside the urban areas were reaching retirement age. Of the six people interviewed, only three are still practicing.
Difficult to Find Associates
Another worry, especially for those in solo or small group practices, was an inability to recruit physicians to help relieve some of the burden or, perhaps more importantly to many of these doctors, to take over care of their patients when they retired.