Less primary care: higher costs, poorer outcomes

Brian Klepper and David Kibbe at Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review:

There’s hardly any question whether empowering primary care would dramatically improve the system. As Sepulveda, Bodenheimer and Grundy pointed out in a March Health Affairs article, literally dozens of studies show that more primary care in a community is associated with lower costs and better outcomes. More specialists lead to higher costs. In the US, the ratio of PCPs to specialists runs about 30/70, while in other developed countries its typically around 70/30. Their costs are generally about half ours and their outcomes better.

I tend to find articles like this encouraging.  I think we will eventually see a resurgence in primary care medicine in the United States because there simply won’t be any viable alternative.

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