No appointments available: America’s escalating primary care shortage

Focus Area:
Health of US Primary Care Scorecard Primary Care Transformation
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In an April 15, 2024, Opinion in Healthcare Dive, Christopher Koller, president of the Milbank Memorial Fund; Kyu Rhee, president and CEO of the National Association of Community Health Centers; and R. Shawn Martin, executive vice president and CEO of the American Academy of Family Physicians explain that chronic disinvestment and inadequate training have created a shortage of primary care workers.

They call for higher reimbursement for primary care and using more of the public dollars going to clinician training for creating a stronger primary care workforce. Koller and colleagues also recommend expanding the footprint of community health centers, which contribute to improved health outcomes in underserved communities.

“It’s time to strengthen our fragile primary care system to ensure it delivers the comprehensive, affordable care Americans so desperately need,” the authors say. “Access to high-quality primary care for everyone should not be an aspiration, but an expectation that we – as a nation – have an urgent duty to fulfill.