The theme of the 25th National Conference on Primary Health Care Access will be “What to Expect!” The invitational conference will take place at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco [See 25th National Primary Health Care Access Conference April 14-16, 2014 in San Francisco].
The founding of the Coastal Research Group 30 years ago and the establishment of the National Conferences on Primary Health Care Access in 1990 were both based on the premise that the American health care system was in need of substantive reform.
Although there are many admirable features of American medicine, very serious deficiencies exist in how American health care is organized and financed.
Over the past 24 National Conferences, much of the discussion has not only identified what should be changed in the health system, but has assessed the intended and unintended consequences of past federal legislation (i.e, Medicare, Medicaid and the prescription drug benefit).
In 2010, the Patient Protection and Accountable Care Act (PPACA) passed and is currently in the process of implementation.
PPACA already has had a transformative impact on some aspects of the health care system. Yet three years after its passage, its ultimate efficacy and impact is still a matter of intense controversy.
Whatever its ultimate impact, the problems that brought forth the National Conferences – the geographic and specialty distribution of physicians, the lack of a appropriately functioning system of primary care, the lack of effective integration of medicine and public health, particularly for underserved and vulnerable populations – all remain concerns.
These concerns will be at the center of discussion of the National Conferences.