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Lead. Educate. Change.
PCDC's Policy and Advocacy efforts are guided by our goal to demonstrate the value of primary care and its ability to radically improve the quality of care and reduce health care costs, particularly in low-income communities. However, this can only be achieved by expanding primary care capacity and transforming the delivery of primary care, two efforts that are largely driven by strong public policy. The core issues that PCDC chooses to focus its efforts 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 healthcare 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 (affordable housing, green spaces, healthcare facilities, etc.) 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). The value of CHCs -- with their focus on primary and preventive health care and the trust generated by their close connection to the community, CHCs are in a keystone position within the healthcare delivery system for vulnerable populations, pivotal to addressing the rising tide of chronic illness and the health disparities that mark the nation’s low income communities, thereby improving their health while also lowering health care costs.
3. Strengthen the role of primary care in health system reform.
Improving care and reducing costs requires more than excellent primary care alone. 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. In fact we know that it accounts for only some 10-20% 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—historically the orphan-child of the health system—is being recognized for its promise of improving health outcomes, reducing health disparities and simultaneously reducing overall health care spending and we continue to advocate for major resources that will foster its growth.