Paying More for Primary Care: Can It Help Bend the Medicare Cost Curve? (Issue Brief)

Paying More for Primary Care: Can It Help Bend the Medicare Cost Curve? (Issue Brief)

Issue Brief
Published: Mar 30, 2012
Publisher: New York, NY: The Commonwealth Fund
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Authors

James D. Reschovsky

Kate Stewart

This issue brief evaluates the effects of a permanent 10 percent increase in Medicare fees for primary care ambulatory visits on Medicare costs. Using a simulation model with real-world parameters, the study found that, in spite of raising the overall cost of primary care visits, such a fee increase would yield more than a sixfold annual return in lower total Medicare costs—mostly for inpatient and postacute care—after the full effects on treatment patterns are realized.

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