(HealthDay News) — Greater Black representation in the primary care provider (PCP) workforce is associated with better population health measures for Black individuals, according to a study published online April 14 in JAMA Network Open.
John E. Snyder, M.D., M.P.H., from the Health Resources and Services Administration in Rockville, Maryland, and colleagues assessed county-level Black PCP workforce representation and its association with U.S. mortality-related outcomes for 2009, 2014, and 2019.
The researchers found that Black PCPs operated in 1,198 counties in 2009, 1,260 counties in 2014, and 1,308 counties in 2019, or less than half of all 3,142 Census-defined U.S. counties as of 2014. Greater Black workforce representation was associated with higher life expectancy and was inversely associated with all-cause Black mortality, as well as disparities in mortality rates between Black and White individuals. In adjusted models, a 10 percent increase in Black PCP representation was associated with 30.61 days greater life expectancy.
“The findings of this cohort study suggest that greater Black PCP workforce representation is associated with better population health measures for Black individuals, although there was a dearth of U.S. counties with at least one Black PCP during each study time point,” the authors write. “Investments to build a more representative PCP workforce nationally may be important for improving population health.”