Payers Bet on Telemedicine to Solve Primary Care Challenges

Access to primary care is one of the crucial challenges facing the health care system. As payers and providers try to rein in specialist and acute care overuse, preventive medicine and patient education — central aspects of primary care — have become more important than ever, especially as the baby boomer generation ages into Medicare plans.

Yet a shortage of primary care physicians (PCPs) has frustrated efforts to manage care systemwide. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners have started to fill some demand, but the number of people with a PCP declined between 2002 and 2015, according to a December 2019 JAMA Internal Medicine study.

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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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