Paying More for Primary Care: Can It Help Bend the Medicare Cost Curve? (Issue Brief)

Issue Brief
Publisher: New York, NY: The Commonwealth Fund
Mar 30, 2012
James D. Reschovsky, Arkadipta Ghosh, Kate Stewart, and Deborah Chollet
This issue brief evaluates the effects of a permanent 10 percent increase in Medicare fees for primary care ambulatory visits on Medicare costs. Using a simulation model with real-world parameters, the study found that, in spite of raising the overall cost of primary care visits, such a fee increase would yield more than a sixfold annual return in lower total Medicare costs—mostly for inpatient and postacute care—after the full effects on treatment patterns are realized.