AAFP Advises Lawmakers on Funding to Improve Primary Care

Academy's Congressional Testimony Recommends Increases for Key Programs

The Academy has sent Congress its federal funding priorities for fiscal year (FY) 2020, emphasizing primary care's vital role in protecting and improving health in rural and other underserved areas and preventing chronic illness nationwide.

In detailed written testimony(5 page PDF) sent March 28 to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies, AAFP President John Cullen, M.D., of Valdez, Alaska, said investment in the National Health Service Corps, the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program and other federal programs would "increase the density of primary care physicians, especially in underserved areas."

The testimony referred officials to a study(jamanetwork.com) published in JAMA Internal Medicine on Feb. 18 that "found that every 10 additional primary care physicians per 100,000 population was associated with a 51.5-day increase in life expectancy -- an increase that was more than 2.5 times that associated with a similar increase in nonprimary care physicians."

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