Policy & Advocacy
Primary care plays an essential role in improving individual and community health. PCDC works with primary care providers, policymakers, industry leaders, and other advocates to advance policies that increase access to quality primary care, ultimately enabling improved health outcomes, reduced costs, and increased health equity.
Through decades of experience investing in and strengthening primary care in underserved communities, PCDC intimately understands the rapidly changing health care policy landscape and is uniquely positioned to offer actionable policy recommendations.
Our Policy Priorities
- Advance the development of an integrated and sustainable primary care system
- Increase investment in primary care infrastructure and capacity
- Build health equity in disinvested communities of color
- Develop and advance meaningful policy proposals that improve primary care financing, reimbursement, service delivery, and workforce training and pipeline development
- Partner with primary care and community development organizations to advance common goals
- Educate key federal, state, and local policymakers on the importance and impact of a robust primary care delivery system
Our Policy Issues
Primary care leads to better health outcomes, improved community status, and reduced costs, yet it is estimated that as little as five to seven percent of health care costs go toward primary care. PCDC supports policies that expand primary care investment to rebalance health care spending.
The challenge of improving population health while keeping costs down requires systematic change to how health care is paid for and delivered to patients. PCDC believes that the solution is predicated on a system-wide focus on primary care — the critical, cost-effective care and services that help prevent and treat diseases before they become serious and costly.
PCDC’s mission as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) is to create healthier and more equitable communities by building, expanding, and strengthening the national primary care infrastructure. A loan from a CDFI isn’t a one-and-done transaction — it’s a partnership built on a shared mission to meet the socioeconomic needs of our communities.
Access to primary care is one of the most frequently cited and urgent health problems facing rural populations. In many areas, primary care providers are the only enduring source for primary care, behavioral health, social support services, and more. PCDC advocates for strong policy solutions to address problems facing rural care delivery and strengthen the health of rural populations.
HIV care is primary care. PCDC advocates for protecting and expanding HIV prevention and treatment services as part of the national movement to increase access to and improve the quality of primary care.
PCDC has worked closely with community health centers since our charter in 1993. We understand the importance of stable funding mechanisms for these institutions that serve all patients, regardless of ability to pay. Federal and state funding sources for health centers must be reliable and robust to allow planning for the future while treating patients today.
At least 25 percent of Americans do not have a designated primary care provider. Burnout, turnover, increased administrative work, and low pay have led many practitioners to leave primary care practice and many students to avoid it. Policies must be put in place to encourage an adequate pipeline of primary care providers at all levels of practice to best suit the needs of all patients.
The integration of primary care and behavioral health services is increasingly recognized as a critical component of comprehensive care and improved health outcomes. PCDC believes that the health care system should treat patients as whole people, deserving of person-centered care in a comfortable, accessible, and equitable environment.
While PCDC was founded in New York, our work has expanded over the past 27 years to reflect a national presence. Nationally, PCDC has assisted over 1,000 primary care practices in more than 40 states and territories. All told, PCDC’s work has impacted more than 40 million patients across the United States and territories. With a mission is to create healthier, more equitable communities by building, expanding, and strengthening the national primary care infrastructure, we have strong voice in federal advocacy for primary care.
While PCDC applies its expertise nationally, New York State remains home. Our intimate knowledge of the State has allowed us to build strong and meaningful relationships with those we serve. We strongly believe that our commitment to our mission to find new and innovative ways to improve the health care system will allow New York communities to thrive.
With the opening of our Los Angeles office in 2020, we join a focused effort toward achieving health equity in California. By formally concentrating services — capital investment, technical assistance, and advocacy — in California, PCDC builds on its history of expanding primary care access in low-income, underserved communities throughout the state.