Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Why Primary Care Matters

Kind of an old post, but kevinmd discusses on his blog why the shortage of primary care docs matters:
Primary care should be the backbone of any health care system. Countries with appropriate primary care resources score highly when it comes to health outcomes and cost. The United States takes the opposite approach by emphasizing the specialist rather than the primary care physician.

A recent study from The New England Journal of Medicine analyzed the providers who treat Medicare beneficiaries. The startling finding was that the average Medicare patient saw a total of seven doctors — two primary care physicians and five specialists — in a given year. Contrary to popular belief, the more physicians taking care of you does not guarantee better care. In fact, studies show that increasing fragmentation of care results in a corresponding rise in cost and medical errors.
Keep reading on here. Still curious? I've discussed this shortage before on scrub notes as well: A Shortage of Primary Care Physicians?

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