Strengthening Primary Care

NCHC Writer
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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.

Recent Publications from NCHC on this topic:

Primary Care: Its Essential Role in a Value-Based Health Care System

MedPage Today: Group Unveils National Primary Care Strategy

AAFP: Panelists: Payment Reform Must Emphasize Primary Care

Primary Care: High-Value Care for Underserved Communities

NCHC, Health Centers, Physicians Urge Congress to Avoid the 2017 Primary Care Cliff

National Coalition on Health Care Calls on Senate to Take Alternative Course to Address Health Care Affordability

NCHC letter in support of the bipartisan Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education Extension Act of 2017

National Coalition on Health Care Presses Congress for Bipartisan Solutions in Advance of Approaching Deadlines

After Debt Ceiling Deal, Congress Must Prevent Disruption to Nation’s Health System

Primary Care: Rural and Urban Communities Face Significant Workforce Challenges

Fierce Healthcare: Federal training, reducing physician burnout keys to tackling the primary care doctor shortage, NCHC panel says

MedPage Today: Another Deadline Looms: $$ for Doc Training

Deadlines loom for key components to addressing U.S. primary care shortage

NCHC Encouraged by Emerging Health Funding Deal, Concerned by Offsets

Lack of Health Center, Medicare Extensions Will Harm Outcomes, Increase Costs

Joint letter calling on Congressional leadership to reauthorize vital health programs

Statement on the Senate Budget Agreement Announced on February 7, 2018

Recommendations for Senate Finance regarding substance use disorders

Medical Economics: From volume to value: Primary care delivers

Medicare’s Latest Primary Care Initiative a Major Step Forward – April 2016