Making New York City a primary care town

Between 2012 and 2016, visits to primary care doctors in the U.S. declined 18 percent, according to a 2016 study by the Health Care Cost Institute, while visits to specialists increased. Primary care provides benefits that visits to specialists and emergency care can’t, including long-term disease prevention.

“If you cut a person up into his various diseases and send him off to the specialists, you're really not able to see the whole picture,” Louise Cohen, CEO of the nonprofit Primary Care Development Corp., said during the panel discussion

Some argue that the rise of urgent care and “minute clinics” set up by retailers like CVS and Walmart also pose a threat to primary care. Assemblyman and Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried argued that eventually, people will stop going to primary care providers for annual check-ups when they can address all of their health needs at drop-in clinics, and advocated for restrictions on these clinics.

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