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Leveraging our deep knowledge and expertise, PCDC works to promote policies that strengthen primary care so it can play its natural role improving health outcomes, reducing costs and lessening disparities. PCDC focuses on ensuring primary care has sufficient reimbursement, capital and technical assistance resources and workforce training and support. For PCDC, the core issues include:
1. Promote expansion of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model and adoption of health IT.
PCMH is a model of primary care delivery that provides accessible, continuous, coordinated and comprehensive services to patients, and has been shown to reduce health care costs. However, many safety net providers will need substantial assistance to reach the standards and produce the measures needed to achieve PCMH transformation.
2. Expand access to capital for primary care expansion.
Evidence consistently shows that community development (e.g., affordable housing, green spaces, health care facilities) has a direct and measurable impact on the health and economic well-being of low-income communities. This impact is particularly true with regard to community health centers (CHCs). CHCs are an important source of health care for vulnerable populations, and are pivotal to addressing the rising tide of chronic illness and health disparities that are so closely associated with the nation’s low-income communities.
3. Strengthen the role of primary care in health system reform.
Improving care and reducing costs requires more than excellent primary care. It also calls for integrating primary care with mental and behavioral health, specialty care, hospital and long-term care services and community resources. Going forward, responsibility for care will increasingly lie with high-performing, integrated health systems that include the entire spectrum of services built on a foundation of excellent, high-performing primary care.
4. Strengthen the role of primary care in sustaining healthy communities.
Health care alone hardly makes a community healthy. It accounts for only 10-20 percent of a community’s health while the social determinants of health -- education, income, jobs, housing --account for the rest. For the first time, primary care is being recognized for its promise of improving health outcomes, reducing health disparities and simultaneously reducing overall health care spending. PCDC continues to advocate for major resources that will foster its growth.