Match Day a Reminder of Primary Care's Struggles
I've written several times in the last few years about this discrepancy and the problems it creates, as well as a range of possible solutions. CMS is working on redistributing reimbursement slightly from specialists to primary care doctors, and healthcare reform will include additional payment bonuses for PCPs. International medical graduates play a big role in filling the gap and keeping primary care afloat.
But these measures aren't going to reverse the trend overnight. To borrow an analogy, the healthcare system is an ocean liner, not a speedboat. Increasing reimbursement 10% or so is a change in the right direction, but the imbalance took years to build up and will probably take a while to correct.
Improving the system of primary care will require more than additional physicians. We need new models of care and better communication between doctors. New technologies and better use of nonphysicians will help.
A good indicator of progress each year will be the results of Match Day, and how many new physicians find it worthwhile to take the road less traveled.
Note: You can sign up to receive HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders, a free weekly e-newsletter that features the top physician business headlines of the week from leading news sources.
Elyas Bakhtiari is a freelance editor for HealthLeaders Media.
- CVS Ramps Up Retail Clinics with Provider Affiliations
- Drug Pricing 'Tantamount to Greed,' Lawmaker Says
- Wanted: Nurse PhDs
- Contradictory Obamacare Rulings Issued by Appellate Courts
- 4 Tectonic Shifts Shaking Up Healthcare
- Study Puts Spotlight on Preventing Fall-Related Injuries
- As HIPAA Breaches Accelerate, Tools Lag
- The Infection-Busting Treatment Payers Don’t Want to Talk About
- Roundtable: Life After a Healthcare Organization Acquisition
- Medical Errors Third Leading Cause of Death, Senators Told