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.

Apr 1, 2006 Issue
Family Physicians Help Meet the Emergency Care Needs of Rural America
Ensuring access to emergency care in rural areas remains a challenge. High costs and low patient volumes make 100 percent staffing of rural emergency departments (EDs) by emergency medicine residency-trained physicians (EPs) unlikely. As rurality increases, so does the dependence on family physicians to provide quality emergent care.

Feb 1, 2006 Issue
Medicare Part D: Who Wins, Who Loses?
The Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit aims to relieve the burden of out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for persons older than 65 years, but its effects will vary. Persons with low income and those without prior prescription coverage are projected to save the most, whereas those who lose employer-based coverage are predicted to pay more for their existing regimens.

Feb 1, 2006 Issue
Mind the Gap: Medicare Part D's Coverage Gaps May Affect Patient Adherence
Medicare Part D will lower medication expenditures for many older patients. However, its complex design incorporates a staggered series of cost-sharing mechanisms that create gaps in coverage and may have a negative impact on medication adherence.

Feb 1, 2006 Issue
Out-of-Pocket Prescription Costs a Continuing Burden Under Medicare Part D
Of 29 million expected Part D beneficiaries, 6.9 million are projected to have annual out-of-pocket medication expenses greater than $750. Accounting for one fourth of all Part D enrollees, these beneficiaries also are most likely to have high aggregate health care costs, putting them at continued financial risk unless additional policy options are considered.

Nov 15, 2005 Issue
Who Will Have Health Insurance in 2025?
If current trends continue, U.S. health insurance costs will consume the average household’s annual income by 2025. As health care becomes unaffordable for most people in the United States, it will be necessary to implement innovative models to move the system in a more equitable and sustainable direction.

Nov 1, 2005 Issue
Excess, Shortage, or Sufficient Physician Workforce: How Could We Know?
At least three models have been used to project the future physician workforce, and each produces different results. No physician workforce predictions can be relied on until there is more consideration of and agreement on desired health outcomes and what physicians must do to achieve them.

Oct 15, 2005 Issue
Physician Workforce: Legal Immigrants Will Extend Baby Boom Demands
The baby boom generation will place large demands on the Medicare program and the U.S. health care system. These demands may be extended by a large legal immigrant population that will become Medicare-eligible soon after the baby boom generation does. The U.S. health care system should be prepared for sustained stress from this aging population.

Oct 1, 2005 Issue
Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner Workforce Trends
The physician assistant (PA) and nurse practitioner (NP) workforces have realized explosive growth, but this rate of growth may be declining. Most PAs work outside primary care; however, the contributions of PAs and NPs to primary care and interdisciplinary teams should not be neglected.

Sep 15, 2005 Issue
Number of Persons Who Consulted a Physician, 1997 and 2002
Most people in the United States consult a general physician each year, and some see other subspecialists. However, the proportion of people consulting a general physician who sees adults and children appears to be declining.

Sep 1, 2005 Issue
Patterns of Visits to Physicians' Offices, 1980 to 2003
In the past quarter century, the number of office visits to physicians in the United States increased from 581 million per year to 838 million per year, with slightly more than one half of total visits since 1980 being made to primary care physicians. Most visits to primary care physicians were made to family physicians (FPs) and general practitioners (GPs) until the mid 1990s, when visits to general internists and general pediatricians exceeded visits to FPs and GPs.

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