American College of Physicians predicts crisis in primary care

Report on the "State of the Nation's Health Care" Explains Need for Reform of the Payment System

WHAT: An interactive session featuring health care quality leaders from the American College of Physicians (ACP) will address the crisis in primary care and how reform of the payment system can help prevent it.

The ACP will release sweeping recommendations for reforming the way that primary care is financed, delivered and reimbursed. ACP's reforms recognize the value of care managed by a patient's personal physician, especially in practices that use health information technology and other innovations that center on each patient's needs. If enacted these reforms will result in higher quality, more efficient and more accessible care.

WHY: 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.

This decline is the result of the current dysfunctional payment system for physicians' services. 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. The 4.4 percent cut to Medicare physician fee schedule payments that went into effect on Jan. 1 exacerbates this problem.

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

WHO: Addressing the issue from the American College of Physicians will be:

  • Robert Doherty, senior vice president, ACP Governmental Affairs and Public Policy
  • C. Anderson Hedberg, MD, FACP, president, ACP
  • Vineet Arora, MD, MA, chair of the ACP Council of Associates

WHEN: Monday, January 30, 2006 from 9:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: The National Press Club
13th floor, Zenger Room
529 14th Street, NW
Washington, D.C.

* due to the size of the room we'd appreciate your response indicating your attendance


The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 119,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illness in adults. For more information on ACP policies, visit

For more information about this press event and to respond, contact:

Leigh Fazzina
Senior Communications Associate
American College of Physicians
190 N. Independence Mall West
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(p) 215-351-2514
[email protected]

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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