BOISE COUNTY - It's the end to a family medicine practice in rural Idaho. Mores Creek Family Medicine serves more than 1,000 patients in Boise County - patients that are now going to have to go somewhere else. This after an ever-changing health care system has forced the practice to close.
"There's nowhere else to go, but down into Boise," Mores Creek Family Medicine Patient Jerry Pitts said.
The practice will stay open until October 1, when it will close its doors for good.
"Disappointment, not for me, I'm going to be OK, but this is my community and I feel for the patients," Dr. Matthew Nelson, owner of Mores Creek Family Medicine, said.
Dr. Nelson says after three and a half years of increasing medical costs, diminishing reimbursements, and the continued regulations placed on physicians it's made it hard to sustain a private practice in rural Idaho.
"Until patients are involved in the discussion and doctors are involved in the discussion of what we both feel we can do for each other and how we want to be served," Dr. Nelson said. "I don't think the system's going to change."
A new health care system that Dr. Nelson says implements a new merit-based incentive program based on their patients’ health.
"Ultimately it's their decision as to what they’re going to do with their body and the treatment of their disease, so as long as they know the risks and benefits," Dr. Nelson said.
A program Dr. David Schmitz says is supposed to improve quality of health care and help lower costs.
"We're in a sea of change and its whitewater. Serving populations and looking at qualities outcomes to care is the right thing to do, but it is a bit of a system change," Dr. Schmitz - who's with the Idaho Rural Health Association - said.
A system, though, that can be hard to sustain in rural parts of the state.
"Folks in rural areas tend to be on average sicker, older, and even often sometimes economically poorer, which can make it difficult in what we call a shaky bridge." Dr. Schmitz said.
Idaho ranks in the bottom five in the U.S for physicians per capita. The Department of Health and Welfare has developed programs, such as loan repayment, which helps physicians pay back med-school loans, to help with the physician shortage.
Copyright 2016 KTVB