HOUSTON Primary care doctors are scrambling to prepare for all the new patients as more Americans sign up for health insurance.

More people with health insurance will mean a heavier workload for primary care doctors who often provide preventive care. According to the AARP, the US needs about 16,000 more of them.

We are looking to hire more clinicians, we are expanding the adult side of our clinic, so we are planning on ramping up our resources, said Dr. Richard Andrews with Hope Clinic.

The Affordable Care Act also offers incentives to doctors in private practice to accept Medicare. Andrews said that will help ease the load at places like the Hope Clinic.

Those patients will also be going to private doctors in the community, who, up until now, have not been able to see too many of those patients because they didn t have insurance, so now, even the private doctors, will be seeing more patients, which is a good thing, Andrews said.

So while this means more Americans will have a harder time finding a primary care doctor, Dr. Charu Sawhney with the Hope Clinic says everyone will be better off.

For us it s exciting to provide care so we can prevent their diseases, rather than treat them later on when they get much more complicated, she said.

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