The Shared Principles of Primary Care: A Multistakeholder Initiative to Find a Common Voice

The United States health care system is at a critical crossroad in its transformation. The foundational importance of primary care in our future health care system cannot be overstated. The undertaking of the collaborative process of refocusing on the value of primary care by diverse stakeholders forming new partnerships both inside and outside of health care is fundamental to this effort. This shared process of principles creation across multiple stakeholders helps create a bonding covenant with our patients and the public.

This set of seven Shared Principles of Primary Care helps define the foundational importance of what primary care does to advance better health, a more satisfying health care experience, and more affordable costs. The Shared Principles were formulated with an understanding that they are aspirational. For them to be actualized consistently and robustly across the diverse landscape of primary care practices in the United States will require not just commitment from the primary care practice community, but also a willingness of the public, payers, and policy makers to prioritize primary care. With more than 300 organizational endorsers, the Shared Principles provide an opportunity for individuals and organizations committed to a vibrant primary care sector to speak with one voice about the bedrock elements of primary care and their importance to the health system. Although the specific ways of delivering primary care will continue to evolve as our complex health system changes, these core principles help to define the enduring essence and value of primary care.

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