Primary Challenge: How New York Can Save Billions By Investing in Primary Care

Updated: August 22, 2016

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By Daniel Lowenstein – PCDC, E. Swain, V. Grasso, L. Lambert, B. Peach, New York State Primary Care Coalition – 2010

As New York struggles with the economic downturn, the New York State Primary Care Coalition (of which PCDC is a founding member) released a report titled, “Primary Challenge: How New York Can Save Billions by Investing in Primary Care.” The report finds that New York’s families, businesses, and government could save $10 billion annually by reducing hospitalization rates to the national average, and by reducing non-emergency ER usage. These savings are only possible by investing in a primary care system that is accessible to all New Yorkers, and provides essential preventive services. Relying on national and statewide research, the report reveals that New York:

  • Spends at least $100-110 billion of its $160 billion health care bill on chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and asthma
  • Ranks 2nd highest in the nation in avoidable hospital use and cost and 5th highest in the number of days patients spend in the hospital – 50% higher than the national average
  • Spends about $1 billion per year on non-emergency ER visits Ranks third lowest in the nation in Medicaid fees paid to primary care physicians – about 40% less than the U.S. average
  • Has more than five million people in communities without ready access to primary care.