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Call for primary care reform from AAFP, ACP and AOA
Date:6/18/2009

that are better than those of the United States, and at lower costs. The organizations specifically called for increased funding for the National Health Services Corps and primary care training programs funded out of Title VII, and creating additional scholarships and loan repayment programs for physicians who choose primary care careers. In addition, they called for creation of a national commission on workforce to recommend goals for the numbers and distribution of physicians, including primary care physicians.

"Healthcare, at its core, is the interaction between a patient and a physician. Almost all health care services originate as a result of the patient-physician interaction, thus making this the most important element of any effort to reform the health care system," said Larry Wickless, DO, president-elect of the AOA. "Congress must make a concerted effort to restore the patient-physician relationship and take this unprecedented opportunity to make fundamental shifts in how health care is delivered by moving from the current episodic-based payment system towards payment models that promote the patient-physician relationship."

The current health care payment model in the United States is based on the quantity of care a physician provides as opposed to quality of care a patient receives. A more effective, predictable payment method should encourage doctors to provide evidence-based care that is effective. It should be based on a patient-centered medical home where patients and physicians work together to coordinate the patients' care in the context of their overall physical, mental and emotional health. A more effective payment model should include incentives for physicians to coordinate the tests, procedures and patient health care in general, including preventive and health-maintenance services.

The results of such a payment system would ensure that the physician-patient relationship is preserved, resulting in better patient care an
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Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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