Primary Problems Confront Primary Care

Too many patients, too few doctors: Is this the foundation for a patient-centered medical home?

When Andrew Morris-Singer was in his fourth year of medical school his mother's lungs stopped working.

She was put into a medically induced coma because of an atypical pneumonia, a condition that he said would likely have been caught if she had a "comprehensivist," a primary care physician who coordinated her care instead of several specialists.

Morris-Singer's mother survived. Today, he uses her case to illustrate one of the fundamental challenges in our healthcare system.

"You can get amazing access to late rescue 'sick care' as Paul Grundy calls it, but when it comes to getting access to some basic primary care preventive services and a primary care provider, that's kind of where we come up short," he said, referencing Paul Grundy, MD, MPH, the founding president of the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative.

Morris-Singer, MD, a clinician and founder of Primary Care Progress, an inter-professional student led movement, joined other policy experts and providers in a panel discussion about ways to advance primary care using an accountable care approach at the National Health Policy Conference here.

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