Friday, February 19, 2010

Belated Analysis

I realized that I never came back around to comment on the Twitter feed I typed up a couple of weeks ago. Just a brief comment:

I think that healthcare reform--critical and necessary as it is--will be focusing on primary care. Healthcare is more efficient and has better outcomes when primary care is the focus, not just a component of the healthcare system. However you feel about the current legislation in Washington, all players appear to agree that primary care will be the focus.

One of the knocks against family medicine and other primary care specialists is that we don't get paid enough for the paperwork and long hours and insurance hassles we have to face. The patient-centered medical home model, long endorsed by the AAFP, would remedy this and I think will be a component of restructuring the current broken system.

Making family medicine and other primary care careers more appealing to medical (and pre-medical students) will help bring qualified applicants into the fields. This change in the workforce will benefit patients and the system overall. This will involve restructuring and adjusting payment structures, and will probably end up with some unattractive doctor-vs-doctor arguments as those who currently hold the larger pieces of the pie are asked (or required) to give up a portion.

I think the AAFP has positioned the specialty well to make progress under healthcare reform. I hope that Congress can complete its work and allow the rest of us to get on with ours.

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