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AAFP Board Member, J. Bender, M.D. “Direct Primary Care Is a Sensible Workforce Solution …”

Tuesday Jan 03, 2017
By John Bender, M.D., M.B.A., is a member of the AAFP Board of Directors


Direct primary care (DPC) is widely acknowledged as a trending payment model that creates transactional efficiencies and reduces administrative burdens for primary care physicians. Unfortunately, a few myths have started to appear in the media about this model that must be dispelled.

The anxiety-provoking concern goes something like this: If traditional family medicine practices convert to DPC, that will exacerbate our primary care workforce shortage. Let’s examine the mechanics of a free market labor economy to see why DPC is actually an ideal strategy to provide our nation a robust family medicine physician workforce in the long run. The workforce myth is rooted in the untested hypothesis that horrible workforce shortages will occur if panel sizes shrink below 2,300 patients per family physician. My sensibilities tell me physician burnout is a much greater threat to workforce shortages than smaller panel sizes.


SOURCE: John Bender, M.D., M.B.A., is a member of the AAFP Board of Directors ;


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