National Survey Reveals Positive Attitudes Toward Primary Care

Health is Primary Tool Can Search, Report Data by State, Congressional District

May 23, 2017 12:01 pm Chris Crawford

The Health is Primary( campaign from Family Medicine for America's Health (FMAHealth) has released data from an extensive survey( it conducted on public attitudes toward and opinions of primary care. And what the group found was strong support for primary care across the country.

[Physician talking with older couple]

FMAHealth was created in 2013 by the AAFP and seven other national family medicine organizations to engage primary care health professionals, patients, policymakers and other key stakeholders to drive continued improvement of the U.S. health care system and spotlight the value of primary care. FMAHealth launched the Health is Primary communications campaign to advocate the values of family medicine, demonstrate the benefits of primary care and drive patient activation.

Health is Primary's survey found that 86 percent of Americans agreed that primary care leads to healthier patients, higher quality health care and lower costs -- collectively known as the triple aim of health care.

Additionally, the survey found that

  • 89 percent of respondents said it's important to have a relationship with a physician who knows their health background and family and medical history;
  • 88 percent said it's important to ensure coverage for preventive and wellness care to keep patients healthy;
  • 91 percent said it's important that health care is affordable; and
  • 85 percent said physicians should be paid based on the value of the care they provide and not on the number of procedures they perform.

Respondents also agreed that primary care should be a priority for policymakers.

To make it easier to spread the good word about primary care to policymakers and others, Health is Primary has organized the survey data into a tool that can break down national results to the state and even congressional district level. Summary reports can be accessed and downloaded to use in outreach efforts with policymakers, showing them their constituents' positive attitudes toward primary care.

This poll was conducted by Morning Consult from Feb. 2-April 19 among a national sample of about 22,800 registered voters. Interviews were conducted online, with data weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment and region. Results from the survey have a margin of error of +/- 1 percentage point.

FMAHealth Board Chair and former AAFP President Glen Stream, M.D., M.B.I., of La Quinta, Calif., told AAFP News that primary care remains one of the best buys in health care.

"A recent Oregon study showed that for every $1 invested in primary care, $13 in downstream costs were saved," he said. "We hope this tool will help us show that there is broad national support to invest in the nation's primary care infrastructure."

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