The AAMC submitted a letter on Aug. 1 to the Office of Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) in response to a request for information (RFI) regarding what the federal government could do to strengthen primary care. The letter supported the Biden administration’s interest in improving access to health care and advancing health equity and expressed the AAMC’s commitment to advancing population health.
The response also highlighted changes to existing payment practices, delivery of care reforms, and expansion of the workforce needed to fully leverage primary care. These included promoting the use of telehealth by eliminating barriers, encouraging the use of provider-to-provider telehealth modalities (e.g., interprofessional consults), and allowing direct supervision of resident physicians via audio/video communication nationwide.
The letter recommended expansion of the workforce through increasing Medicare-supported GME positions, increasing funding for Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) Title VII programs, HRSA residency training programs, and the National Health Service Corps. The AAMC also recommended ways to promote the use of integrated behavioral health care models that involve a multidisciplinary team of medical and behavioral health providers working together with patients and families to address medical, behavioral, and social factors that affect health and well-being. It also recommended development of innovative delivery models for primary care in the future.
As noted in the RFI, HHS will use the responses “to develop a plan with specific actions that HHS can take as part of its Initiative to Strengthen Primary Care."