The Coming Primary Care Revolution
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CitationEllner, Andrew L., and Russell S. Phillips. 2017. “The Coming Primary Care Revolution.” Journal of General Internal Medicine 32 (4): 380-386. doi:10.1007/s11606-016-3944-3. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11606-016-3944-3.
AbstractThe United States has the most expensive, technologically advanced, and sub-specialized healthcare system in the world, yet it has worse population health status than any other high-income country. Rising healthcare costs, high rates of waste, the continued trend towards chronic non-communicable disease, and the growth of new market entrants that compete with primary care services have set the stage for fundamental change in all of healthcare, driven by a revolution in primary care. We believe that the coming primary care revolution ought to be guided by the following design principles: 1) Payment must adequately support primary care and reward value, including non-visit-based care. 2) Relationships will serve as the bedrock of value in primary care, and will increasingly be fostered by teams, improved clinical operations, and technology, with patients and non-physicians assuming an ever-increasing role in most aspects of healthcare. 3) Generalist physicians will increasingly focus on high-acuity and high-complexity presentations, and primary care teams will increasingly manage conditions that specialists managed in the past. 4) Primary care will refocus on whole-person care, and address health behaviors as well as vision, hearing, dental, and social services. Design based on these principles should lead to higher-value healthcare, but will require new approaches to workforce training.
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