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.

Feb 1, 2013 Issue
Is NIH Research Funding to Medical Schools Associated with More Family Physicians?
National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to family medicine departments is very low and has an inverse association with the production of family physicians at these medical schools. Clinical and Translational Science Awards and other efforts to include primary care in NIH research priorities should be considered to increase the family medicine workforce.

Dec 1, 2012 Issue
Health Care Transition Counseling for Youth with Special Health Care Needs
Youth with special health care needs who receive care within a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) are significantly more likely to receive services for transitioning to adult care. Broader implementation of the PCMH may contribute to wider use of health care transition counseling and enhanced support for such patients as they prepare to enter adulthood.

Aug 15, 2012 Issue
Improving America's Health Requires Community-Level Solutions: Folsom Revisited
Amidst sweeping changes to health care in the 1960s, the broadly influential Folsom Commission report, “Health is a Community Affair,” never fully achieved its vision of galvanizing the creation of Communities of Solution, which were empowered to improve health at the local level. Passage of health care reform, and persistent concern over poor health outcomes despite runaway spending, contemporizes Folsom's call for nationally supported and evaluated, but community-driven, solutions to the nation's health care challenges .

Jan 1, 2012 Issue
Refocusing Geriatricians' Role in Training to Improve Care for Older Adults
The current number of geriatricians cannot keep up with the health care needs of the growing number of older adults. To fill the gap, more geriatricians should focus on training primary care and other specialty physicians to care for older adults.

Dec 15, 2011 Issue
Comprehensive Medical School Rural Programs Produce Rural Family Physicians
Health insurance expansion expected from the Affordable Care Act is likely to exacerbate the long-standing and critical shortage of rural and primary care physicians over the next decade. Comprehensive medical school rural programs, from which most graduates ultimately enter primary care disciplines and serve rural areas, offer policy makers an interesting potential solution.

Dec 1, 2011 Issue
EHR Implementation Without Meaningful Use Can Lead to Worse Outcomes
Defying expectations, typical electronic health record (EHR) use in practices belonging to a primary care network has been associated with poorer diabetes care quality and outcomes. Current expansion of primary care EHR implementation must focus on use that improves care.

Nov 1, 2011 Issue
Better Integration of Mental Health Care Improves Depression Screening and Treatment in Primary Care
Improving screening and treatment for depression in primary care will require better mental health care integration. Depression is common in primary care, yet screening for the condition remains low. Enhanced, coordinated financial support for the integration of mental health care into primary care could improve identification and treatment of depression.

May 1, 2011 Issue
FPs Lower Hospital Readmission Rates and Costs
Hospital readmission after discharge is often a costly failing of the U.S. health care system to adequately manage patients who are ill. Increasing the numbers of family physicians (FPs) is associated with significant reductions in hospital readmissions and substantial cost savings.

Sep 15, 2010 Issue
Income Disparities Shape Medical Student Specialty Choice
Currently, a gap of more than $135,000 separates the median annual subspecialist income from that of a primary care physician, yielding a $3.5 million difference in expected income over a lifetime. These income disparities dissuade medical students from selecting primary care and should be addressed to ensure sufficient patient access to primary care.

Jul 15, 2010 Issue
Loss of Primary Care Residency Positions Amidst Growth in Other Specialties
Since the 1997 Balanced Budget Act capped funding for graduate medical education (GME) programs, overall growth in GME has continued (+7.8 percent), but primary care specialties have experienced a substantial decline in their number of programs and residency positions. This decline will further exacerbate the current primary care shortage and severely affect future projections of primary care shortage.

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