New Bill Addresses Primary Care Shortage
Numerous health care organizations joined U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz May 20 on Capitol Hill to announce a new bill (H.R. 2350) that addresses the shortage of primary care providers in America.
“As we move toward creating a uniquely American solution in which all Americans have access to affordable, meaningful health coverage, it becomes clear that successful health care reform must include primary care reform,” said Representative Schwartz (D-Pa.).
According to a U.S. House of Representatives’ press release, Preserving Patient Access to Primary Care Act of 2009:
Establishes scholarship and loan repayment opportunities for primary care providers who serve in areas with critical shortages of primary care services;
Creates new residency positions for primary care and general surgery trainees, with more opportunities to train in ambulatory care setting—particularly community health centers;
Improves access to primary care for seniors by eliminating copayments for preventive care services in Medicare;
Increases Medicare reimbursements for primary care providers; and
Establishes Medicare payments for care coordination services, and monthly payments to providers who serve as patient-centered medical homes.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) was one of the many organizations to join the congresswoman and speak on its behalf.
“Primary care is the best medicine for better health and lower costs,” ACP noted in a press release of their own, “and this is the best medicine for curing the growing crisis in primary care.”
Just over 100 members of Congress have already signed on as co-sponsors to the bill.