Quote from MunoRN
We've had a system that provides acute/emergent care for all, but disease management and preventative care for some. Essentially, given the choice between treating a person when they are relatively cheap to treat, we chose instead to wait until they become very expensive to treat. Our disinterest in preventative care and disease management is a major to contributor to why we pay more than twice as much on healthcare as any other industrialized country and will likely lead to economic collapse if we don't do something to fix it. Maybe I'm wrong, but healthcare seems to have politicized to the point that there are those that will actually argue for economic collapse if it denies an opposing political group's proposal.
There is no massive shortage of people ready to provide primary care. According to AHRQ there are almost 50,000 NP's who could work as primary care NP's but are currently not. I work with 5 NP's who are still doing bedside Nursing due to the lack of demand in family practice NP's. The more slanted statistics use some questionable methods. Some still assume that all GP's will spend about half their time in the hospital following patients, even though few of them still do that with current trend in Hospitalists. As the article you provided pointed out, in order to meet demand GP's would have to work full time seeing patients in the office, something most already do anyway. We do also need to improve office visit reimbursements, although such proposals have been shot down by those opposed to increases in government spending, even to the point of arguing that we shouldn't reimburse some things at all, such as establishing end of life wishes.
Preventing economic collapse by substituting much of our very expensive acute care for relatively cheap primary care, won't be easy, but it's not really that hard either. We went to the moon just to see if we could, providing more primary care to ensure our survival isn't really optional, those who argue we aren't capable of such a feat unfortunately seem to hope this will be the case to prove a political point.
There is no massive shortage of people ready to provide primary care??? You are one of the few who believe that. Have anything to back that up?
The data I see from AHRQ says that there are about 50,000 NP's not doing primary care. No mention that they are willing and available and ready to do primary care. Aren't many of those 50,000 already doing something else?
The article states that physicians would have to work almost full-time just to do PREVENTIVE CARE. That is not something most are already doing.
And why isn't their a demand for family practice NP's? Why don't physicians' offices hire more NP's? Why don't ones like the people you work with open their own practice? It seems it would be a smart thing to do.
Jolie's post above yours, and the article I posted both perfectly illustrate why. For one, they are not now, and certainly won't in the future, be able to the money they should on Medicare patients for it to be worthwhile.
What political point would someone like me be trying to make? I ahven't seen anyone say we aren't capable of providing better primary and preventive care? I for one strongly believe we can, and I strongly want to. I have even shared alternative ideas on other threads. I believe almost everyone wants to improve our healthcare system. Personally, my spouse is applying to go to NP school to be a PCP, and my future RN aspirations are in the preventative care arena. So I even have selfish reasons for our country's healthcare costs to be shifted to primary care.
It is the manner in which we can get this done is where the disagreements are.