New Path to Primary Care?


A new bill that could steer more medical school students toward primary care is winding its way through Congress and will receive a careful look from SHM.

The Preserving Patient Access to Primary Care Act of 2009 (HR 2350) would provide financial assistance to medical students choosing a primary-care career, proposes changes to Medicare reimbursement, and suggests the development of measures to support and expand the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model of care.

The bill, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., has been endorsed by the American College of Physicians (ACP). In a press release, the ACP referred to the proposal as "the best medicine for curing the growing crisis in primary care."

SHM's Public Policy Committee will discuss HR 2350 during its June meeting. "SHM has been supportive of improving and expanding primary care because a strong primary-care base creates opportunities for a partnership with hospitalists," says Larry Wellikson, MD, FHM, CEO of SHM. "The committee also will look at HR 2350 from the hospitalist perspective and how it fits in with many of the other proposals that are part of healthcare reform."

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