COMMENTARY

Let Patients See Visit Notes?; also, Medical Device Risks

Wayne J. Guglielmo, MA

Disclosures

January 13, 2012

In This Article

A Year-End "Ho! Ho! Ho!" for Primary Care

If the 11th-hour reprieve of the scheduled physician Medicare pay cut didn't spread much cheer among doctors at the end of 2011, the move by Congress to provide near-level funding for primary care training programs did, at least among PCPs.

According to a posting on aafpNewsNow.com, for fiscal year 2012, Washington lawmakers provided nearly $40 million in funding for Title VII of the Public Service Act, section 747 of which "is the only federal program that provides funds specifically to academic programs to increase the number of primary care professionals."[4] The appropriation is slightly down from that of fiscal year 2011.

Despite this, American Academy of Family Physicians President Glen Stream was jolly. In a prepared statement, he said that by its vote, "Congress has ensured that primary care programs in America's medical schools can continue to support curricular enhancements and other innovations that encourage students to become primary care physicians."

He added that such encouragement was vital for "meaningful health system reform," because PCPs can "provide comprehensive, preventive, and coordinated care that helps rein in the unnecessary, duplicative, and costly services that contribute to our spiraling health care costs."

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