, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 1201-1203
Date: 27 Apr 2011

How the Affordable Care Act Will Strengthen the Nation's Primary Care Foundation

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Abstract

As the country turns toward implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, realizing the potential of reform will require significant transformation of the American system of health care delivery. To that end, the new law seeks to strengthen the nation’s primary care foundation through enhanced reimbursement rates for providers and the use of innovative delivery models such as patient-centered medical homes. Evidence suggests that these strategies can return substantial benefits to both patients and providers by increasing access to primary care services, reducing administrative hassles and burdens, and facilitating coordination across the continuum of care. If successfully implemented, the Affordable Care Act has the potential to realign incentives within the health system and create opportunities for providers to be rewarded for delivering high value, patient-centered primary care. Such a transformation could lead to better outcomes for patients, increase job satisfaction among physicians and encourage more sustainable levels of health spending for the nation.