Primary Care Funding Increase: a rant and a reply

Dr. Glauser at EMNews vents his spleen a bit about a general feeling that Primary Care needs more funding:

bannerSay what? Fund physicians to promote primary care? Why throw good money after bad? If ever there was a group that has failed in providing care, it is our primary care system. To fund such a venture for groups that are singularly inept at performing anything of value to society is pure folly and a waste of precious health care dollars.

This did not pass unnoticed by an excellent primary care blogger, Dr. Rob at Musings of a Distractible Mind:

This guy is not arguing, he is ranting.  Why?  My suspicion is that he sees the fact that increased reimbursement for primary care physicians means potentially decreased reimbursement for emergency physicians.  That does not mean you shouldn’t trust his arguments – he could use the same against me.

Read them both, and join the argument.  I’m for paying primary care better, because they need some more flexibility (though I have my concerns, too).


  1. Or, and here’s a novel idea, you guys could all quit competing for the government’s money and enter the free market.

  2. Matt, it doesn’t matter whether it’s the free market or government-sponsored care. Most health insurance companies have lower reimbursement rates for PCPs compared with specialists.

  3. So why aren’t PCPs going to a cash basis for their services? Retainers, payment plans, accepting credit cards? Charge an hourly rate?

  4. You’re right on here Grunt Doc. I think over the next year we may see some infighting among physicians as underpaid primary care folks (at least underpaid in my opinion, I’m a family doc) try and take some of the pie from overpaid proceduralists. I blogged on this in regard to the recent AMA interim meeting when this came up in regarding to the Medical Home. This post is at:

    It’s going to get ugly, but it’s a discussion we need to have as the country attempts to sort out its health care priorities.

  5. The best plan may start out with keeping people out of EDs by having a primary care operation close by (maybe more than one).
    If you come to the ED with a non-emergent problem, you get shunted to the 24-hour primary care facility, and the reverse could happen too.
    The primary care and ED docs could be part of the same company. An incentive for the patient would be the easy sharing of information between the two facilities.

  6. Nice layout. It’s free or your own? Could i use it on my blog?