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Realizing Health Reform's Potential: How the Affordable Care Act Will Strengthen Primary Care and Benefit Patients, Providers, and Payers

Although primary care is fundamental to health system performance, the United States has undervalued and underinvested in primary care for decades. This brief describes how the Affordable Care Act will begin to address the neglect of America’s primary care system and, wherever possible, estimates the potential impact these efforts will have on patients, providers, and payers. The health reform law includes numerous provisions for improving primary care: temporary increases in Medicare and Medicaid payments to primary care providers; support for innovation in the delivery of care, with an emphasis on achieving better health outcomes and patient care experiences; enhanced support of primary care providers; and investment in the continued development of the primary care workforce.

Publication Details

Publication Date: January 4, 2011
Citation: M. K. Abrams, R. Nuzum, S. Mika, and G. Lawlor, Realizing Health Reform’s Potential: How the Affordable Care Act Will Strengthen Primary Care and Benefit Patients, Providers, and Payers, The Commonwealth Fund, January 2011.

Experts

Melinda K. Abrams
Vice President and Director, Delivery System Reform, The Commonwealth Fund
Rachel Nuzum
Vice President, Federal and State Health Policy, The Commonwealth Fund