Growing New York’s Primary Care Investment
March 13, 2020
Research shows that increased access to primary care is associated with fewer hospital visits, emergency department visits, and surgeries; yet primary care represents only an estimated 5–7% of health care spending in the United States.
Except for uninsured and Medicaid populations, New York State currently spends less on primary care than the national average. Without sufficient investment and supportive policies, primary care will not be able to deliver on its full potential to promote better health outcomes and reduce costs. In 2020, NYHealth awarded the Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) a grant to launch a statewide initiative to define, measure, and report on current primary care spending and increase investment in primary care services.
Under this grant, PCDC led a multistakeholder statewide coalition of hospital systems, commercial and public health plans, foundations, academia, trade associations, and consumers to define strategies, secure commitment and buy-in, and educate partners on primary care services and spending. PCDC and its partners conducted preliminary analyses for defining and measuring primary care spending for all payer types in New York State. Using these analyses, PCDC set a target for primary care investment and created policy recommendations for New York State. To secure policymaker and stakeholder support, PCDC educated and met with relevant policymakers, hosted statewide policy forums, and wrote stories and opinion pieces for local, regional, and statewide media outlets.