Date of Conferral





Health Services


Amy Thompson


Many health care stakeholders have expressed concerns with the distribution and availability of primary care physicians (PCP) across the United States. Despite programs such as Healthy People 2010 and 2020 Initiatives, statewide and local health care expansion efforts and policies; access to PCP remains a challenge for health care consumers. The purpose of this mixed method research study was to evaluate the impact of several health care access policies on the practices of primary care providers and assess their perspectives regarding disparities in access. Patton and Sawicki's policy analysis and evaluation process was the framework used in this study as it is a practical framework for evaluating the impact legislation has on primary care providers' practices. 1,050 surveys were mailed to potential participants, and 861 completed surveys were used in the quantitative data analysis. Purposive sampling was used to select 15 PCP to further assess their perspectives on disparities in access. The quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS Statistics Version 21 software program. All evidence that contained text was coded, analyzed to identify patterns and theses, and subjected to data triangulation, and member checking. The findings illustrated that PCP are not involved in health policy development and evaluation processes, do not fully understand some policies, and are dissatisfied with the impact health legislation has on their practices. The findings will help in expanding the PCP workforce, improving access to health care providers, and reducing health disparities. Clinical decisions and practice patterns may also be improved once providers' knowledge and participation in health policy development and evaluation are improved.