Pandemic Exposes Need for Alternate Primary Care Payment

Experts in primary care say the field has still not resolved long-term financial and structural challenges exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. They also point out that primary care must play a central role if the health care industry will successfully confront the structural racism and inequality made worse by COVID-19.

In a Feb. 17 virtual event organized by the Robert Graham Center, a think tank that studies population health, family medicine and primary care, panelists described the financial challenges posed to primary care by the pandemic, which include accelerating consolidation and a problematic reliance on fee-for-service revenue. The panel, which featured executives, researchers and practitioners from organizations including CVS Health Corp. and UCLA, also observed that PCPs are on the front lines of population health challenges caused by structural inequality — which the pandemic has made even worse.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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