As American health care transitions toward value-based models of care and payment, successful employers, plans, and health systems are finding strong primary care to be absolutely essential. Yet the United States spends only 4-8% of health care dollars on primary care, compared to an average of approximately 12% among other industrialized countries – each of which spends substantially less per capita on health care than the United States. To build an American health care system that delivers better care at a lower cost, primary care must become a national health policy priority. Here’s how:
Build on what’s working
- Make Comprehensive Primary Care Plus and Independence at Home models available to practices across the country.
- Continue to improve Medicare’s Physician Fee Schedule’s support for chronic care management.
- Integrate payment streams and clinician training for primary care and behavioral health.
- Implement MACRA’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Model provisions.
Preserve existing investments in health centers & primary care workforce
- Provide long-term funding for the Community Health Center Fund.
- Sustain mandatory support for the National Health Service Corps & the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education programs.
- Maintain stable discretionary appropriations for healthcare workforce programs.