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.

Jun 15, 2008 Issue
A Perfect Storm: Changes Impacting Medicare Threaten Primary Care Access in Underserved Areas
A convergence of three policies could reduce physician Medicare payments by 14.9 to 22.3 percent in 2008, which could jeopardize access for Medicare beneficiaries in underserved areas. Congress and the Executive Branch should coordinate their roles in setting Medicare payment policy, because their overlapping decisions can have additive impact.

May 15, 2008 Issue
Physician Distribution and Access: Priorities for Physician Workforce Policy
Most Primary Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) exceed federal population-to-physician designation criteria, yet struggle to maintain access to primary care physicians. Policy options for recruiting and retaining primary care physicians to HPSAs, and new HPSA criteria that support access to primary care practices, should be considered.

Mar 15, 2008 Issue
Why There Must Be Room For Mental Health in the Medical Home
Most people with poor mental health are cared for in primary care settings, despite many barriers. Efforts to provide everyone a medical home will require the inclusion of mental health care if it is to succeed in improving care and reducing costs. Major primary care organizations have reached a consensus regarding the desirability and the feasibility of a medical home.

Nov 15, 2007 Issue
Behavioral Change Counseling in the Medical Home
Health-related behavioral counseling can and should be a central offering in the medical home. Primary care practices currently address unhealthy behaviors with their patients, but most practices lack the integrated approaches needed to effectively change these behaviors. Revisions in practice and financing are necessary to fully realize this capacity, which could affect the millions of patients served by the largest health care delivery platform in the United States.

Jul 15, 2007 Issue
Medical School Expansion: An Immediate Opportunity to Meet Rural Health Care Needs
The first expansion of allopathic medical education in 35 years is under way; this could eliminate rural physician shortage areas if students more likely to practice in rural areas are preferentially admitted and supported.

Jul 15, 2007 Issue
Rural Origins and Choosing Family Medicine Predict Future Rural Practice
The shortage of physicians in U.S. rural practice may impact access to health care for one in five citizens. Two medical student characteristics that predict eventual practice in rural settings are clear: being born in a rural county and choosing a residency in family medicine.

Jul 1, 2007 Issue
Will Medical School Expansion Help Diversify the Physician Workforce?
The racial/ethnic composition of U.S. medical schools does not reflect the U.S. population. With proper planning, the current medical school expansion could improve physician diversity and reduce health disparities.

Jun 1, 2007 Issue
Use of Patient Registries in U.S. Primary Care Practices
Patient registries are necessary for high-quality health care, but even in innovative practices, their presence and utilization is inadequate. Registry uptake in primary care may be enhanced by improving the functionality of electronic health records (EHRs) and implementing payment models that reward registry use.

Oct 1, 2006 Issue
Imperative Integration: Medical Care for Older Patients
The ecology of medical care changes for older people, with increases in usage of residential and institutional care, emergency departments, and home care. Care integrated across multiple settings, as is proposed for new models of primary care, is essential for the care of older patients.

May 1, 2006 Issue
The Diminishing Role of FPs in Caring for Children
Nationwide, family physicians (FPs) deliver a smaller proportion of the outpatient care of children than they did 10 years ago. Millions of children depend on FPs for care. Family medicine should reevaluate how it will contribute to the care of the nation's children.

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