2014 Demand in Primary Care

MCOL ThoughtLeaders

Mark Lutes, Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, based in the Washington, DC, office, is a featured attorney weighing in on the anticipated 2014 surge in demand for primary care and resulting shortage of availability and accessibility.

Following is an excerpt:

In the words of Rodney King, "Why Can't We Just Get Along?" A large portion of the American citizenry is covered by primary care, and there are already existing gaps in primary care access in rural counties as well as the poorer sections of some cities. The very real fear is that Medicaid expansion, which will make Medicaid larger than Medicare in terms of beneficiaries, will exponentially make the primary care even more strained.

But there is light in this tunnel. Commonwealth Fund recently published a report from the Capitol District's Physician Health Plan in NY, that showed team care, overseen by a physician but relying on nurse practitioners and care coaches/coordinators, worked well to see the patients, build better outcomes, improve health care quality and reduce total costs. North Shore Physicians Group, just north of Boston, had similar results. Kaiser and others have been performing team-based care for many years, with good outcomes.