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Internists diagnose health-care system ills, show how to achieve universal coverage
Date:12/3/2007

e, and an author of the paper.

A recent survey by the Commonwealth Fund of adults in seven industrialized nations indicates that Americans share ACPs view that the U.S. health care system is inefficient and could be greatly improved by providing access for all Americans to a primary care physician for continuous, comprehensive, coordinated care.

The Commonwealth Fund survey found that that U.S. patients are more likely to report experiencing medical errors, go without care because of costs, and say that the health care system needs to be rebuilt completely. As medical care becomes more specialized and complex, adults in all seven countries said they place high value on having a relationship with a primary care or personal physician who is accessible and coordinates their care.

Patients with this model of care a patient-centered medical home, which ACP proposes reported significantly more positive experiences, including having more time with their doctors, more involvement in care decisions, and better coordination with specialists and hospitals. They were also much less likely to report medical errors, receiving conflicting information from different doctors or to encounter coordination problems, such as diagnostic tests or medical records not being available at the time of care and duplicate tests.

In an accompanying editorial, Harold C. Sox, MD, MACP, editor of Annals of Internal Medicine, notes that the paper recommends that the country seriously consider a single payer system as one way to provider universal access to health care. Countries have achieved universal access with pluralistic systems, not unlike our own. Both can achieve the greater end that should be our highest priority: equal access to basic health care for every citizen.


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Contact: Stephen Majewski
smajewski@acponline.org
215-351-2514
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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