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2008-2016 Insurance coverage increased, primary care visits decreased. Why?

Posted by Daniel Patrick on

Researchers examined 142 million primary care visits for insured adults and found the following:

  • Commercially insured adults have been visiting Primary Care Physicians less often.
  • Declines were largest among youngest adults, those without chronic conditions, and those living in the lowest-income areas.
  • Nearly one half of insured adults haven't visited a primary care physician in the past year.
  • Out-of-pocket cost for problem-based visits rose 31.5%
  • Visits to 'alternative venues, such as urgent care clinics'  increased by 46.9%

*Limitations: Data were limited to a single commercial insurer and did not capture nonbilled clinician–patient interactions.

Backbone of a Healthcare System

Primary care represents healthcare for everyone and is intended to be the backbone of the healthcare system capable of saving vast sums of money through the tenants of primary care which include; health promotion, health screenings, disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, and patient education. 

Recent research from Harvard provided evidence suggesting that a total of 10 additional primary care physicians per 100,000 population was associated with reduced cardiovascular, cancer, and respiratory mortality and longer lives - however the researchers went on to explain that the number of primary care physicians in the population have been on the decline from 2005-2015.

BLUE WAVES MISSION

We serve the patient-provider relationship. We distill, amplify, and share physician-led health conversations. We achieve our mission by:

  • Connecting
  • Listening
  • Sharing
  • Remaining evidence-based

BLUE WAVES VITAMINS

Our vitamins fund our mission. They are affordable, evidenced-based, and frequently discussed in exam rooms after a blood draw. 

Thank you for supporting the goal of improving health & health care because your health and our health care is a goal worth sharing.

References:

https://annals.org/aim/article-abstract/2760487/declining-use-primary-care-among-commercially-insured-adults-united-states

https://primarycare.hms.harvard.edu/news/association-primary-care-physician-supply-population-mortality-united-states-2005-2015

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