AAFP strikes back at screed


Ted Epperly, M.D.

American Academy of Family Physicians president Dr. Ted Epperly has a classy response to Jonathan Glauser’s recent anti-primary care screed.  Dr. Epperly is kind enough to refer to the emergency doc’s tirade as an “opinion piece”.  The link requires AAFP membership and is available here: LINK.  Some excerpts:

[I]t is the system, not primary care, that has fallen into disgrace.

This is a system that pays for procedures, rather than medical expertise…

{T]he solution is not to discredit primary medical care, which — according to research dating to the 1990s — undergirds all high-functioning health care systems in the world.

[E]nsuring that patients have access to comprehensive care…makes primary care uniquely capable of improving health care outcomes, reducing disparities in health care among underserved populations and controlling health care costs.

This has been demonstrated repeatedly in studies by researchers ranging from Johns Hopkins University’s Barbara Starfield, M.D., M.P.H., to the Commonwealth Fund’s Commission on a High Performance Health System. Pilot programs such as North Carolina’s Community Care program for Medicaid patient demonstrate the success of the primary care, patient-centered medical home in caring for low-income patients. Projects such as IBM’s patient-centered primary care initiative with Pennsylvania’s Geisinger Health System prove that a patient-centered medical home can improve outcomes and rein in costs.

That is the difference between an opinion piece and a histrionic rant.

And at the Family Practice Management Noteworthy blog, Brandi White takes Johnny to the woodshed:

[F]amily physicians, under immense time and cost pressures, have led the way in advancing concepts such as same-day appointments and effective chronic disease care. They have also continued to provide charity care out of their own pockets – not their hospital’s deep pockets.

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