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Primary Care Policy

Decent Essays
Healthcare spending in the United States is higher than that found in many comparable high income countries, while health outcomes within the U.S. have not kept up with these expenses. In 2008, as the national and global economy plummeted and the United States’ GDP subsequently declined, spending in healthcare still continued to grow and reached $2.5 trillion in 2009 (Shi 2014). Between 2010 and 2019, it is predicted that healthcare spending will grow at a rate of 6.1% annually, accounting for $4.5 trillion in 2019 and 19.3% of the GDP (Shi 2014). As our spending continues to go unchecked, a larger proportion of our GDP is displaced and there is less money to put towards other areas of investment. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act…show more content…
The intention of these policies was to increase the number of residents heading into the primary care workforce so as to help control healthcare expenses in the future and alleviate the primary care shortage. However, the funding and implementation of these investments is vulnerable and has not been completely successful. Specifically, the ACA pushed policy that would increase the percentage of physician trainees practicing primary care by increasing subsidies allocated to graduate medical education (GME) programs per resident in primary care curriculums, while decreasing the per resident amount for all other resident trainees (Schwartz 2012). Furthermore, the ACA paid bonuses to hospitals who had graduating residents who practiced primary care post-training, expanded loan repayment for residents that practice primary care, increased salaries of primary care residents, and raised the number of GME resident positions by 3,000 for 5 years beginning in July 2011, with 80% of these new slots being provided for those who were taking part in primary care training programs (Schwartz 2012). Additionally, the ACA set in place a 10% Medicare bonus for primary care services for 5 years, beginning in January 2011 (Schwartz 2012). The ACA also encouraged physician training in community-based patient care centers that provide primary care residency programs, it approved a new grant program to educate primary care providers about care coordination, chronic disease management, and preventive medicine, as well as creating a program on management of medication in an effort to improve treatment and control costs regarding chronic conditions and prescription medications (Heisler
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