We must stop running from fixing primary care

A Minnesota 2020 study “Best Practices: Minnesota’s Highest Value Hospitals” concludes:

  • While this report concludes that higher spending does not necessarily correlate with better quality, it shows that increasing the primary care labor corresponds to higher value and quality of care.
  • By taking a holistic approach to medicine, where primary care doctors encourage healthy habits, manage chronic conditions, and provide routine check-ups and immunizations, costs can be better controlled.
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians estimates that adding one primary care doctor for every 20,000 people decreases the number of unexpected premature deaths by 9 percent.
  • 98 percent of medical school students plan to seek careers in fields other than primary care because of the extra administrative duties, lower salary and exorbitant administrative duties.
  • The U.S. health care system will be short 40,000 primary care doctors by 2020.
  • In general, hospitals that have low proportions of Medicare reimbursements to amounts of uncompensated care, education costs and cost-of-living expenses, perform more favorably in the value ranking, while hospitals that have higher proportions of primary care/family physicians compared to specialists fair better in the quality ranking.

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