AFP DEPARTMENT COLLECTION

Graham Center Policy One-Pagers

These reports offer succinct summaries of research and perspectives pertinent to family practice advocacy and are produced by the Robert Graham Center: Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care in Washington, DC.

Nov 1, 2016 Issue
High-Deductible Plans May Reduce Ambulatory Care Use
Although rates of uninsured Americans are declining because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there is growing concern about out-of-pocket expenditures associated with private high-deductible insurance plans.


Oct 1, 2016 Issue
Rural Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Depends on Family Physicians
The nation's growing opioid use disorder epidemic disproportionately impacts rural areas, where physicians who can prescribe buprenorphine are scarcest. Among physicians approved to prescribe buprenorphine, family physicians (FPs) are the most likely to work in rural areas.


Sep 1, 2016 Issue
Family Medicine: An Underutilized Resource in Addressing the Opioid Epidemic?
Opioid overdose rates have tripled since 2000, and although overprescribing of opioids by physicians is widely accepted as a causal factor, the physician's role in providing medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder is less appreciated. Despite a clear willingness to prescribe opioids, few family physicians (FPs) have the necessary certification to treat opioid use disorder with buprenorphine, an effective, evidence-based treatment.


Jan 15, 2016 Issue
Only 15% of FPs Report Using Telehealth; Training and Lack of Reimbursement Are Top Barriers
In a 2014 national survey, only 15% of responding family physicians (FPs) reported using telehealth in the previous year, even though most agreed that telehealth could improve access to and continuity of care for their patients. More than one-half of FPs identified lack of training and reimbursement as key barriers to adoption of telehealth, with more than 40% noting the cost of technology and liability issues as additional barriers.


Dec 15, 2015 Issue
Fewer Americans Report a Personal Physician as Their Usual Source of Health Care
One in five Americans reports no usual source of health care, and the number of Americans reporting that they have a personal relationship with a usual source of care has declined steadily over the past 15 years. Given the positive association between having a usual source of care and the nation's Triple Aim initiative of lower health care costs, improved population health outcomes, and better patient experience, this trend is worthy of further exploration and policy-maker attention.


Nov 15, 2015 Issue
Graduates of Teaching Health Centers Are More Likely to Enter Practice in the Primary Care Safety Net
The Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program funds new primary care residencies at community health centers caring for the nation's underserved population. In a national census of third-year family medicine residents, those who trained in teaching health centers were more likely to plan to work in safety net clinics than residents who did not train in these centers.


Sep 15, 2015 Issue
Family Physicians Contribute Significantly to Emergency Care of Medicare Patients in Urban and Suburban Areas
Rural populations rely on physicians trained in primary care to provide emergency services. Less is known about primary care’s contribution to emergency services in urban and suburban settings. Two-thirds of family medicine and three-fourths of general internal medicine Medicare claims for emergency care are generated in urban settings, demonstrating primary care’s significant contribution to the emergency workforce in the most populated areas.


Aug 1, 2015 Issue
Primary Care Physicians Are More Likely to Participate in Medicare EHR Incentives than Other Eligible Physicians
Family medicine and general internal medicine physicians are more likely to participate in the Medicare electronic health record (EHR) incentive program compared with other subspecialties, after accounting for Medicare income and other factors. These findings support the continuation of incentive programs that assist physicians in the meaningful use of EHR technology.


Jun 1, 2015 Issue
Osteopathic Schools Are Producing More Graduates, But Fewer Are Practicing in Primary Care
The expansion of osteopathic medical schools was to be a boon for underserved areas in need of primary care service. However, the impact has thus far been diminished by the decrease in osteopathic graduates engaged in primary care practice. Policy makers and leaders should consider strategies for maintaining a proud tradition of primary care production in a time of looming primary care physician shortage.


Jun 1, 2015 Issue
Shifting Sources of U.S. Primary Care Physicians
Trends in the composition of the primary care physician workforce since 2000 show a declining proportion of U.S. allopathic physicians, and increasing proportions of U.S. osteopath physicians and both U.S.-born and foreign-born international graduates.


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