Primary Care Workforce Study

Cost Tool and Cost Brief

In the United States, primary care is under strain due to lower compensation for primary care providers, payment and delivery system models that motivate high volumes of patient visits, and a shortage of providers.  Simultaneously, there is a heightened national awareness of the central role of primary care in improving population health and managing cost growth.

In this context, health care provider organizations, payers and policymakers need to identify preferred and sustainable primary care workforce models that draw on available knowledge to ensure access to high quality, cost-efficient health care that is to the satisfaction of patients and providers.  These models should empower the practice to deliver comprehensive and patient-centered care.  Further, it is necessary to know how much these models are likely to cost employers, government payers and health insurers so that purchasers and payers understand the financial implications of these preferred approaches. 

To address this need, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) funded Abt Associates and its partners, the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation and Bailit Health, to develop primary care workforce models for primary care practices that serve four types of patient populations, and estimate the associated costs.  The results of this study were published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, with extensive supplemental materials presented on the JGIM website

For more information about the associated costs for four primary care workforce models for primary care practices, please refer to the following brief:  New Models of Primary Care Workforce and Financing:  Costs Associated with High Quality Comprehensive Primary Care. The attachment is below. 

Because the care team composition of and costs associated with each primary care practice vary significantly, we have created a simple accompanying Excel-based tool wherein users can customize our ideal model configurations and costs to best fit their needs.  Users can modify salary, benefit and business expense assumptions to account for regional variations or modify the primary care team configuration by adding or deleting team member counts, or substituting one type of staff or another if they so choose.

For more information about the entire Primary Care Workforce and Financing Study, please visit AHRQ’s website here:

For more information on the primary care workforce models, please see:  Meyers D, LeRoy L, Bailit M, Schaefer J, Wagner E, & Zhan C. “Workforce Configurations to Provide High-Quality, Comprehensive Primary Care: a Mixed-Method Expansion of Staffing for Four Types of Primary Care Practices.” Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2018.

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Fichier Excel Based Cost Tool55.27 KB
PDF icon Cost Brief 532.81 KB
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