By Alan Lyndon
Primary care doctors have a message for all of the potential patients out there: Let us help you!
Family Medicine for America’s Health, a national organization representing eight physicians groups such as the American Academy of Family Physicians, announced a campaign called Health is Primary to raise awareness of the role of primary care providers.
“By shining a light on our definition and vision for true primary care, we can get to a place where the system improves patient health and delivers value over volume,” said Glen Stream, MD, MBI, chair, Family Medicine for America’s Health board of directors.
The organization says that as many as 127,617 patient deaths per year in the U.S. could be averted through an increase in the number of primary care doctors. Studies have predicted that the U.S. will face a shortage of 52,000 primary care doctors by the year 2025. But a turnaround is occurring.
“Combined first-year enrollment at existing M.D.- granting and D.O.-granting medical schools is projected to reach 28,307 by 2018–2019, an increase of 45 percent compared with 2002–2003,” according to the Association of American Medical Colleges 2013 Medical School Enrollment Survey.
Health is Primary hopes to change the current health care system by expanding access to the patient-centered medical home, ensuring a strong primary care workforce and shifting from fee-for-service to comprehensive primary care payment.
“We are so convinced of it that we plan to spend the next three years working to make the case to patients, payers and policymakers that a strong primary care system will allow us to deliver on the promise of the Triple Aim: better health, better care and lower costs,” said Dr. Stream.
Family Medicine for America’s Health represents the following organizations:
- American Academy of Family Physicians;
- American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation;
- American Board of Family Medicine;
- American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians;
- Association of Departments of Family Medicine;
- Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors
- North American Primary Care Research Group; and
- Society of Teachers of Family Medicine