Primary Care Investment

Good primary care is essential to improving population health. Yet, research shows that an underinvestment in primary care is one of several reasons why the US health care system yields poorer population health outcomes than other countries.

One simple way to establish how strongly a state is committed to primary care is to measure primary care spending—the portion of health care dollars that go to primary care. It is important to make the case for primary care support, and spending measures can support those arguments.  There are also many practical steps associated with generating primary care spending measures that policymakers can take, including how to define primary care, how to collect and analyze the necessary data, and what policy levers need to be in place.

The Milbank Memorial Fund has assembled a comprehensive set of resources to support policy makers who want to learn more about and use primary care spending measures as a tool to gauge the level of primary care investment overall and by major payer group.