Why aren’t Americans seeing primary care doctors?

Visits to primary care doctors have been falling for decades in the U.S., and rising out-of-pocket costs are the main, although not the only, reason why.

That is the conclusion of two recent studies of trends in visits to primary care physicians (PCPs), one looking at the period 2008 to 2016 and the other 1998 to 2017. It calls into question the widely -held assumption among healthcare policymakers that lack of insurance coverage is the main obstacle patients face in obtaining medical care, especially primary care.

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