Primary Care Investment

Primary Care Investment

Major Effort Underway to Increase Investment in Primary Care

The NCAFP is leading an effort to increase investment in primary care based on the value that family physicians bring to the healthcare system.  Last legislative session, we successfully advocated for a study of Primary Care Investment in North Carolina.  The first phase of that study has been completed and presented to members of  both the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Medicaid and the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services. 

The Task Force established a working definition of primary care and is beginning to voluntarily collect data based on that definition to determine what percent of healthcare spending in NC goes to primary care (national estimates put this number at about 5.8% of North Carolina’s health care spend).  In addition, the Task Force recommended increasing primary care spend as a percentage of the total health care spending by 1 percent a year.  For example, if North Carolina finds that 5% of healthcare spending is on primary care in the initial data collection, the target for next year would be 6% of total spending (or a 20 actual percent increase).

Some of the recommendations the report is making to the General Assembly, includes:

·       Continuing the Task Force beyond the original study,

·       Providing a state entity the authority and funding to implement the findings in the report, including annual reporting, and

·       Developing a primary care scorecard to monitor access, affordability, etc.. to better understand the impact of the new investment.

As the General Assembly returns to Raleigh this week, the NCAFP has kicked off a public relations campaign on the value of family medicine and the importance of primary care in order to help move the Task Force’s recommendations forward.  The campaign includes commercials on 80 radio stations across the state, a social media campaign, and a website specific to the initiative:

Increasing investment in primary care is one of the NCAFP’s key advocacy priorities, along with reducing the administrative burdens our members face.  Stay tuned for more information as the legislative session moves forward.