Healthcare Business News

New Calif. institute aims to woo physicians to primary care

By Maureen McKinney
Posted: December 14, 2012 - 11:30 am ET

Amid a looming shortage of primary-care providers, a California not-for-profit has formed with the mission of making the field more desirable to clinicians and to improving primary-care performance.

Known as the California Advanced Primary Care Institute, the collaborative group, which will launch in January, is sponsored by the California Association of Physician Groups, a Los Angeles-based trade group. It received startup funding from a number of sources, including the California HealthCare Foundation, the California Endowment and the California Academy of Family Physicians.

The CAPCI says it will work to increase the appeal of primary care by promoting new payment models, improving training, promoting practice redesign and advocating for better public policy. The group's launch comes as millions are expected to join the ranks of the newly insured, and large numbers of older physicians are leaving the workforce.

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"California's primary-care workforce will shrink by 30% in the next five to eight years as a consequence of two converging misfortunes,” the CAPCI said in a news release. "Baby boomer primary-care physicians, for years the load-bearing stalwarts among the internists, family physicians and pediatricians, are retiring. Newly trained clinicians have been progressively choosing other medical disciplines, cutting the 'reinforcements' down to half what they were 15 years ago."

The group says it plans to work with a range of stakeholders and healthcare organizations, such as community health clinics, health plans, private-sector organizations, government entities, quality organizations and patients.

"Never has such a broad platform been established, and none too soon," said Dr. Wells Shoemaker, medical director of California Association of Physician Groups, in the release. "With the crunch bearing down, every one of the parties involved in CAPCI 'has a dog in this race.' "

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