NEW JERSEY MUST MAKE WISE INVESTMENTS IN PRIMARY CARE
Few health care dollars are currently invested in primary care. While 55% of office visits take place in primary care practices, only 4-7% of health care dollars go to primary care, which reflects a gross misalignment of primary care reimbursement compared to other specialties and a contributing factor to why so few medical students choose this path.
States and countries that invest their spending on primary care services see an incredible reduction in health care costs and an improvement in health and quality measures.
Rhode Island and Oregon, for example, established a percentage goal for primary care spending and targeted annual percentage increases to improve access, quality and reduce health care costs in the state.
A minimum primary care spend can easily be established for NJ Medicaid and state regulated health plans to improve access, quality and reduce health care costs in NJ.
For more information on states' investments in primary care.
We need to begin to make investments yesterday
Assemblyman Herb Conaway, MD (D-Dist. 7), discusses some of the many policy options currently at its disposal, which could help keep new Primary Care physicians in New Jersey.
NJ Primary Care Practitioners Loan Redemption Program
The State of New Jersey has had a student loan redemption program for primary care practitioners since 1991. But the deck is stacked against physicians.
ACTIONS NJ CAN TAKE
Medical School Admissions and Tuition incentives
State funded medical schools need to have strong primary care specialty departments and primary care mentors assigned to incoming first year medical schools in all of the primary care specialties.
Medical School financing
Medical school financing and loan obligations are another reason medical students are reluctant to choose primary care. Primary care payments simply do not support loan payoffs with high interest rates up to $400k with 8-10% interest rates.
NJ Primary Care Practitioner Loan Redemption Program
This state program offers $120,000 in loan redemption for qualified primary care physicians, APNs, PAs, dentists, and nurse midwives practicing in medically underserved communities over a four year period.
Direct Primary Care Model
Direct Primary Care (DPC) provides primary care physicians and patients with an alternative to fee-for-service insurance and a solution to high deductible plan obligations.