The problem with lack of emphasis on primary care in healthcare


“In the U.S., primary care is nothing more than an assembly line,” he said. “I had to see twenty to twenty-five people a day, and then spend a third of my day coding. The patients were getting eight minutes with me if they were lucky. That’s why I got out. We should stop insuring primary care, and start ensuring that everyone has good primary care.”

Risheet Patel, MD, a direct primary care physician who leads Fishers Direct Family Care in Fishers, Ind., pointed to the lack of focus on primary care in the United States as one of the most important reasons for the gaps.

“When looking at metrics like percentage of primary care providers in the workforce, primary care visits, or dollars spent on primary care, the US falls behind other countries,” he said. “If we want to change the direction of our healthcare system, we need to put more emphasis on primary care along with screening and prevention as opposed to costly testing and treatments.”

The insurance-based healthcare system rewards physicians for ordering tests, treatments, medications, and office visits, driving up the cost of care, he said.

“It’s often hard to get insurance plans to cover preventative counseling, smoking cessation, or weight loss programs,” said Patel. “If we can work to prevent disease progression, we can help reduce the burdens of testing and treatment. However, there is a definite lack of focus in this area.”

Read the full article at Modern Medicine Network.

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