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Primary Care Reform Relies on Teamwork, Management Skills

ACP leaders, practicing primary care internists available to react to article on new models of care and other elements of primary care

The Health Affairs magazine scheduled for release Tuesday bills its “thematic issue” as examining “the crisis facing the U.S. primary care system as well as promising solutions for reinventing primary care. Building a state-of-the-art primary care system, the issue concludes, is critical to achieving better health care, better value for the dollars spent, and expanded access for the tens of millions of Americans who will gain insurance coverage over the next few years.” HHS Secretary Sebelius is expected to deliver remarks tomorrow on the primary care crisis and the potential solutions highlighted by Health Affairs.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has arranged for leaders of the organization, including two who are primary care internists in private practice, to comment on the Health Affairs articles and Secretary Sebelius’s remarks, as well as on other studies, opinion pieces, and public policy proposals that have recently appeared in ACP’s own flagship peer-reviewed journal, the Annals of Internal Medicine, other peer-reviewed journals, and in organizational position papers developed by ACP. ACP first predicted the “collapse” of primary care in a 2006 report on the state of American health care.

ACP’s President, J. Fred Ralston, MD, FACP, a primary care internist in private practice Fayetteville, TN and ACP’s Chair-elect of its Board of Regents, Yul D. Ejnes, MD, FACP, a primary care internist in private practice in Cranston, RI, will be available for interviews. In addition, ACP senior staff physicians will be available to discuss the importance of practice redesign and transformation.

The following publications also provide important insights on the crisis in primary care and proposed solutions:

ACP's policy papers on the shortage in primary care:

American College of Physicians. Reforming Physician Payments to Achieve Greater Value in Health Care Spending[PDF], July 2009

American College of Physicians. Solutions to the Challenges facing Primary Care[PDF], April 2009

American College of Physicians. State of the Nationals Health Care 2009.[PDF] February 2009

American College of Physicians. How is the Shortage of Primary Care Physicians Affecting the Quality and Cost of Medical Care?[PDF] November 2008

Articles in April issues of Annals of Internal Medicine:

Goodson, John D. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Promise and Peril for Primary Care. Annals of Internal Medicine. April 20, 2010

Doherty, Robert. The Certitudes and Uncertainties of Health Care Reform. Annals of Internal Medicine. April 8, 2010

The work of the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC):

ACP's efforts to support primary care practice transformation:


Medical Home Builder

NEJM article by Richard Baron
Baron, Richard. What’s Keeping Us So Busy in Primary Care? A Snapshot from One Practice. New England Journal of Medicine 2010 Apr 29;362(17):1632-6.


The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 129,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection, and treatment of illness in adults. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

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