Health AGEnda

Health Reform: If We Had a Magic Wand for Primary Care

magic-wand-picHealth Reform has become a national pastime. It’s the hot topic of dinner conversation, top “tweet” in cyberspace, rant-du-jour in the blogosphere, and the focus of our policymakers even as Congress is adjourned. The public debate has focused on three core issues—cost, quality, and access—rarely accompanied by the necessary deeper dive into the causes of our current system’s woes, barriers to making change, and the all-important solutions. And yes, there are solutions.

So it was notably impressive when on August 11, 2009, the White House convened innovators from diverse health care organizations to rethink how we organize and deliver primary care, one of the nation’s top problems to be addressed within Health Reform. Nancy-Ann DeParle, the director of President Obama’s new White House Office of Health Reform, led the White House Health Care Roundtable discussion on Advanced Models of Primary Care. Click here to view the videotaped discussion.

dr-dorr-still-shotOne solution showcased at the White House Roundtable was Care Management Plus. A leading innovator of geriatric care delivery, David Dorr, MD, MS, of Oregon Health and Science University, presented the improved health outcomes and reduced costs associated with this innovative primary care model, which we funded in partnership with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Dr. Dorr and co-investigator Cherie Brunker, MD, of Intermountain Healthcare in Utah, have led more than 75 clinical teams and delivery systems around the country in the adoption of Care Management Plus.

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