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.