Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Moment Away From Health Care Reform

Just to remind everyone: without primary care physicians, any healthcare reform is going to be hard pressed to make a difference. In this greater debate about HR 3200 and other plans, we need to make sure we do not lose track of the importance of primary care: Family Medicine, General Internal Medicine and General Pediatrics. Our system does not reimburse primary care services well enough as things now stand, but efforts are underway as part of the healthcare reform process to address this.

A wise colleague once pointed out that in other countries, primary care is funded as the base of the healthcare pyramid and specialists and hospitals get less money. In comparison, in the US hospitals and specialists are funded and primary care gets what little trickles past.

Unless this changes, we are in for a bad situation regardless of what healthcare reform ends up looking like.

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