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Defining the Primary Care Workforce in Kansas (April 2020)

This issue brief is the first of a two-part series examining the primary care workforce in Kansas.

By Sydney McClendon, Madison Hoover, M.S., Hina B. Shah, M.P.H. | April 07, 2020

Defining the Primary Care Workforce in Kansas (April 2020)

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Kansas, like the U.S. as a whole, is experiencing a shortage of primary care physicians. While nurse practitioners and physician assistants also provide primary care, Kansas statute requires them to practice according to an agreement with a physician. How many licensed clinicians are in the primary care workforce in Kansas? Do most new physicians trained in the state stay in Kansas? Learn more in our new issue brief, the first in a two-part series examining the primary care workforce in Kansas.

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.

The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.