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Resurgence of Direct Primary Care Can Help Solve Healthcare Issues

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Resurgence of Direct Primary Care Can Help Solve Healthcare Issues

Can a time when primary care physicians seriously doubt their profession be a good time for the revival of primary health care? Smart and shrewd investors will likely jump in where others are starting to bail out. On the other hand, when the majority view is to invest, shrewd investors usually move out.

Dave Chase, a Forbes.com contributor and author of the well-written article “Solving Healthcare Requires Primary Care Renaissance”, writes that now is the right time to invest in primary care to improve the nation’s health care program.

“For my money, if I could invest in family medicine residency programs right now, I would. As primary care leaders such as Dr. Glen Stream, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians, wrestle with a reimbursement system that has disadvantaged primary care, they should be emboldened that there is an increasing conclusion that the only way to improve the health of the population and reduce healthcare costs is to to build it on a primary care foundation.”

 

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Dave Chase, founder of Microsoft’s Health business and previously a consultant with Accenture’s Healthcare Practice, believes that primary care is about to undergo a much-awaited revival due to a number of reasons, some of which are cited below.

3. Simple laws of supply and demand. There’s already a shortage of primary care. Look to Massachusetts to see the further demands expanding coverage has put on primary care.  While one can argue the merits of that health reform, it’s indisputable that it has created more demands on primary care. Analysts believe a core reason CIGNA and Humana have bought onsite clinic businesses is to ensure they have a supply of primary care physicians as demand increases for primary care.

4. The rise of onsite clinics that have primary care as their foundation continues to create more demand for primary care doctors. Dissatisfaction by purchasers of healthcare will continue to expand the onsite clinic trend.

5. In the so-called “Pharma 3.0″ trend, pharmaceutical companies are repositioning themselves as “health outcomes” companies. Major players I’ve spoken with are putting primary care as central focus areas which is a shift from where many of them have focused. In one case, they are already delivering primary care themselves.

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Like all great beginnings, the ongoing revival of primary care will surely experience some labor pains. Dave Chase, however, maintains that the future of primary care will bring a brighter promise than its past.

The knee-jerk reaction to the predicted renaissance of primary care is to believe it will come at the expense of specialists. As I commented in an earlier piece on Direct Primary Care, that potential zero-sum-game is the elephant in the room, but the biggest fat in the system is burdening day-to-day healthcare with insurance bureaucracy. Physicians would be well advised to address that rather than fight amongst themselves in my opinion.

No renaissance comes without some bumps in the road, but I’d argue that the next twenty years of primary care will be far better than the last twenty.

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If you need more news and information about Direct Primary Care, you can visit our website at http://dpcnews.com/.

 

 

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