Primary care, when prioritized in the health system, results in people living longer lives with more equitable outcomes. Yet primary care, with chronically low funding and infrastructure investments, is in danger, as highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Primary care is the foundation of a strong and effective healthcare system. Systems and organizations built around a core primary care function can deliver higher quality, lower cost, and more equitable care. Abundant data shows that individuals in communities with a higher proportion of primary care practitioners are overall healthier and live longer.
Yet, our current healthcare system consistently falls short for everyone involved. Inequity, high costs, lack of access, and disparities in care and quality lead to frustration and sub-optimal outcomes for not only patients and providers, but communities, businesses, payors, government, and policymakers alike.
This is especially true in Texas, where our state’s shortcomings make it difficult for many to access primary care services. Subsequently, care is frequently obtained later in the course of an illness at higher-cost venues such as emergency departments. Together, these factors are contributing to a growing primary care crisis in Texas.