Transforming primary care remains top goal of new physician group

January 10, 2013

Making its debut this month, a new physician group is calling for a fundamental transformation of primary care.

The California Advanced Primary Care Institute (CAPCI), a nonprofit foundation sponsored by the California Association of Physician Groups (CAPG), plans to hold its first plenary steering council meeting to start working on its mission to improve the appeal of primary care as a career choice and elevate the performance of primary care teams.

“Primary care is the cornerstone for all of California’s healthcare delivery systems and sets the foundation for every goal of healthcare reform,” says Wells Shoemaker, MD, medical director of CAPG. “Sadly, California faces a serious erosion of primary care workforce at the same time that our state braces for a daunting bulge in chronic illnesses and the long-awaited opportunity through health reform to serve million of previously uninsured individuals and families.”

In the next 3 to 5 years, officials estimate that the ranks of California’s primary care workforce will shrink by 30%.

“Given the time it takes to train doctors, advanced practice nurses, and physician assistants, this impending shortfall cannot be entirely avoided,” Shoemaker says. “We have to use scarce resources in smarter ways, many of them embedded in the concept of the medical home.”

Kevin Grumback, MD, professor and chairman of the University of California, San Francisco, Department of Family and Community Medicine and member of the CAPCI executive management committee, reports that this new coalition represents an unprecedented partnership between practice organizations and training institutions to equip the workforce with innovative care models.