In my last blog post, we shared with you our new report Primary Care in New Jersey: Findings and Recommendations to Support Advanced Primary Care. The report is a blueprint for what needs to change in payments, quality measures, and other practice supports to enable team-based, comprehensive primary care to expand in our state. I also shared the value of primary care, which is associated with lower health care spending, reduced emergency care and hospitalizations, improved equity, and better long-term health for all of us.
So, let’s get to work. One of my heroes, Don Berwick, M.D., once said, “The devil is not in the details. … The devil is in the culture. It is all about will. Leaders must recruit the courage to make the case and put their own political and organizational futures on the line.” At the Quality Institute, we have the will, and we look forward to working with you, our members, on the recommendations in the report.
I also invite you to hear directly from some of our Primary Care Work Group members who are expert leaders in primary care, alternative payment models, and quality. I invite you to stand with us and with them in advancing the recommendations in the report.
Jamie Reedy, MD, MPH, Chief Population Health Officer & SVP, Health Solutions, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
As a primary care physician who has been working to improve payment and delivery models for primary care for many years, I appreciate the findings and recommendations in the report. One of my top priorities is ensuring that primary care practices get the payments and support they need to be the foundation of the health care system that we need them to be.
Thomas McCarrick, MD, MBI, Managing Partner, CMO, CMIO, Vanguard Medical Group
We’ve known for a long time that the payment model for primary care has been broken and is leading to the degradation we see in our primary care workforce in New Jersey. This report is a timely and important discussion of the problem and advances the collective ideas of those of us working in the primary care trenches on how to start to rectify the problem. Now the hope is that the system will respond and change to correct and heal what is broken.
Alfred F. Tallia, MD, MPH, Professor and Chair, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
When I speak with people, especially patients, about the value of primary care, which can reduce their mortality, illness burden, and health disparities, they resoundingly agree. When I share with them that New Jersey is almost dead last out of the 50 states on how much it spends on primary care, they are shocked. They ask what state officials and legislators can do to fix the situation and better support primary care for everyone in New Jersey. Well, the steps are in the report. This is the road map for a better primary care system.
Mary F. Campagnolo, MD, MBA, FAAFP – Medical Director, Virtua Health, Board Member, New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute
Everyone in New Jersey needs and deserves a primary care physician. Data shows that New Jersey has the lowest number of Family Physicians per 100,000 population, and some of the lowest spending on primary care compared to other states. This causes our health care to be fragmented and costly. The Quality Institute report prioritizes solutions to improve the state of primary care in New Jersey. We urge the public, our government, and insurers to accept these recommendations and take action now!