October 21, 2019: Primary Care for All

An initiative that will transform the U.S. health system so that it is driven by Advanced Primary Care

by Dr. Scott Conard

There is a group of us who are working together to bring a foundation of advanced primary care to every American. With this foundation we can establish a “system” of care for America that will significantly reduce the confusion, disorganization, low health literacy, inappropriate navigation, and excess costs.

At this time our initiatives are:
To Renew the commitment to a primary care system: Create a renewal process that will stimulate deep reflection that leads to re-discovery and embrace of the core values, goals and sense of purpose that underlies the Family Medicine movement

To Revitalize those believing in the value of advanced primary care: To inspire and to articulate a vision for the next stage that engages a community of innovators and early adopters who will act on the vision.

To Transform the system: To advocate and act on systems change: from models to networks to systems to institutions.

All of this is based upon primary care that makes a difference. Running patients through 40/day, handing out referrals and scripts at a record rate, at 7 minutes a visit or spending an hour with every patient, ordering every possible test – regardless of evidence base and/or pre-test probability. Nor is it about ignoring what is going out outside of the office and just caring for those who call and make an appointment.

Advanced primary care calls us to provide a higher level of service and care. Truly in the old “Marcus Welby” vision of caring for people as they age – having a trusted relationship – and ensuring patients get the right care, at the right time, in the right place, and at the right cost.

What are your thoughts about this? Is it realistic? Is it fair to ask primary care providers to do more without providing better tools, better data and information, proactive reimbursement, or other support? Tell us what you think.