Strategy to redesign primary care medicine

Press briefing at internal medicine conference

A comprehensive strategy to redesign the delivery of primary care, its training, education and payment system will be presented at the American College of Physicians (ACP) Annual Session, April 6-8, in Philadelphia. The strategy is part of an effort to prevent the collapse of primary care in the United States.

ACP, the nation's largest medical specialty society, will release extensive recommendations for reforming the way that primary care physicians are compensated, educated, and trained, in an effort to address issues that are negatively impacting the stability of the internal medicine workforce. ACP's reforms are designed to recognize the value of primary care physicians, and general internists in particular, who are a key component of managing chronic diseases, providing comprehensive and coordinated long-term care. ACP's reforms, if implemented, will help strengthen the importance of primary care in the health care system, by acknowledging and supporting the value and role of primary care physicians in delivering better quality care at lower cost.

There is growing evidence that physician shortages are developing in the United States, particularly in general internal medicine and family practice. Projections indicate that the future supply of primary care physicians will be inadequate to meet the health care needs of the aging U.S. population. Primary care is under-reimbursed compared to other specialties, and many primary care physicians are struggling to keep their practices open at a time when practice costs are escalating and excessive paperwork requirements take time away from patients. This decline is the result of the current dysfunctional payment system for physicians' services.

According to the ACP, primary care medicine is the backbone of the health care system, and if it is allowed to collapse, it will take the whole system with it, resulting in lower quality, higher costs, and greater patient dissatisfaction.

On Thursday, April 6, 2006 from 12:45 PM to 1:50 PM a press briefing will be held in Room 105A room at the Pennsylvania Convention Center where ACP leaders will discuss the problem and present a comprehensive strategy to address it. Medical/health reporters and editors are encouraged to register for press credentials ASAP by visiting http://www.acponline.org/college/pressroom/as_pressreg06.htm. Press credentials are subject to conditions of the ACP press policy (www.acponline.org/policy).

Have questions about the conference or need more information? Contact: Lynda Teer, 215-351-2655 or 800- 523-1546, ext. 2655 lteer@acponline.org; or commdept@acponline.org

ACP's Annual Session is geared to specialists in internal medicine (internists), who provide comprehensive primary and subspecialty care to adult patients. More than 6,000 physicians, medical students, and other health care professionals will attend Annual Session to learn about recent medical advances, quality improvement issues, gain insight on ethical topics, and learn about new diagnostic skills.

Press registrants will have access to more than 200 of the scientific sessions and all press briefings. The ACP Annual Session is the largest continuing education meeting for internal medicine. Don't miss the opportunity to experience it first-hand.

PRESS OFFICE: Room 105B, Pennsylvania Convention Center
Hours: Wed., 4/5/06, 12-5 p.m.;
Thurs., 4/6/06, 6:45 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Fri., 4/7/06, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.;
Sat., 4/8/06, 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Press Office Phone: 215-418-2426

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The American College of Physicians (ACP) is the largest medical-specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include more than 119,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, medical students and residents. Internists treat the majority of adults in the United States.

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