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Primary Care: Today and Tomorrow

Issue brief


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When provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expand access to Medicaid and facilitate the purchase of private insurance through health insurance exchanges, the U.S could potentially have thirty-two million newly insured seeking health care between 2014 - 2019. This, together with a pending shortage of primary care physicians, has become an increasing concern for the future of health care.

In addition to the newly insured, the challenges facing primary care include increased demand due to a prevalence of chronic disease and an aging population.

This Issue Brief considers new models and tools for primary care as well as new incentives, such as pay for performance and value-based design, medical homes, and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

Also discussed are the barriers in “getting there” which include:

  • Regulatory barriers
  • Implementation barriers
  • Professional educational barriers
  • Financial barriers
  • Physician alignment barriers

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