When patients are admitted to the hospital, their connection to their primary care physician is often disrupted, leading to difficult transitions of care, readmissions, higher costs, and worse health outcomes. Two family physicians propose a solution: the creation of the hospital chief primary care medical officer. The chief primary care medical officer, a primary care physician, would lead hospital efforts to create systems that ensure the primary care continuum is complete, even for complex patients. The position could be funded by savings that arise from improved value, the authors suggest, particularly as healthcare systems shift away from a focus on volume towards a focus on value. The authors call for a healthcare system that supports a trusting primary care relationship at critical junctures in individuals' lives.
The Chief Primary Care Medical Officer: Restoring Continuity
Noemi Doohan, MD, PhD, University of California Davis
Jennifer DeVoe, MD, DPhil, Oregon Health & Science University