Reform efforts that aim to provide access to care to more people will only make the looming shortage of primary care physicians more acute, according to the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. The group argues that without enlarging and strengthening the primary care sector, a significant portion of the population will continue to be without access to high-quality and efficient care, and health care costs will continue to escalate. The foundation convened a conference to address the issues around providing primary care and developed several conclusions and recommendations. They include:
- Create financial and other incentives for the development of innovative models of primary care.
- State and national legal, regulatory and reimbursement policies should be changed to remove barriers that make it difficult for nurse practitioners and physician assistants to serve as primary care providers.
- Promote stronger ties between academic health centers and other primary care sites and the communities they serve.
- Leaders of health professional schools should implement actions to increase the number of students and trainees choosing careers in primary care.
For information, go to www.macyfoundation.org.