The need to enhance the delivery of primary care is not a new dilemma, although there has been a renewed recognition of the necessity to do so in any current health care reform debate. As it now stands, the lack of a strong primary care infrastructure will only be exacerbated as the population ages and the need for up to 44,000 more primary care physicians by 2025 has been reported (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080617111826.htm).
The reason for the decline in medical students entering primary care has been debated for many years. Some of the causes are obvious, such as lower reimbursement. In fact, it has gotten so bad in some areas of the country that well known practices are no longer accepting Medicare reimbursement as they struggle to survive economically (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601202&sid=aHoYSI84VdL0), (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,306439,00.html. ). This does not even address the issue of Medicaid reimbursement a focal point for expanding coverage and reducing cost in congress. Continue reading