Primary care MDs should manage chronic diseases

A new report from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions argues that primary care physicians should be given more control to manage patients' chronic diseases, and should be paid more to assume this care coordination role.  They believe that physicians should make as much as $100,000 per year for care coordination, with $20,000 at risk as an incentive bonus for strong clinical performance.

The report's authors concede up front that such an approach will cause some short-term pain. Expanding the role of PCPs could generate some extra costs for hospitals and health plans; for example, they'll need to offer better access to clinical data, which could lead to increased IT investment. Also, it could aggravate the primary care practice shortage by tying up more of their hours. However, the benefits of such management exceed the costs over the long term, it contends. With 45 percent of the U.S. population suffering from some form of chronic condition, it's critical to manage their illnesses in an a clinically and financially effective manner, Deloitte researchers suggest.

To learn more about this research:
- read the Deloitte report (.pdf)

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