December 4, 2023


Healthy Always

The U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers Is Taking Motion to Strengthen Main Care

8 min read

Why We Have to Strengthen Main Care

Reprinted by permission of the Nationwide Academy of Medication.

The U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers (HHS) acknowledges that efficient main care is crucial for bettering the well being and well-being of people, households, and communities and advancing well being fairness. It’s well documented that health systems with a robust primary care base present higher entry to well being providers and have improved well being outcomes, decrease mortality, and extra fairness. Sturdy main care also can lead to vital value financial savings.

By strengthening main care, HHS will advance the Division’s strategic targets of increasing entry, decreasing disparities, bettering well being outcomes, and making certain HHS applications attain underserved communities (HHS, n.d.a). Sturdy main care is crucial for addressing behavioral well being, together with the overdose epidemic and the kid and adolescent psychological well being disaster; bettering maternal and baby well being, corresponding to by decreasing disparities in maternal mortality; and stopping and managing continual situations.

Main care in our nation is dealing with quite a few challenges. Too many individuals lack entry to main care and an ongoing, trusted relationship with a main care clinician and staff. There are disparities in entry primarily based on race, ethnicity, age, geography, in addition to different demographic elements (Jabbarpour et al., 2022). Key federal applications offering main care to greater than 30 million folks in rural and underserved areas require extra funding and assist to satisfy the wants of their communities. As well as, the workforce will not be rising as quick as demand and the brand new technology of clinicians search different disciplines with higher work-life stability and compensation (HRSA, 2022; Steinwald et al., 2019). Federal funding in main care analysis is low (Mendel et al., 2021). Final, coordination of main care with different scientific providers and sectors can also be usually difficult.

HHS Actions to Strengthen Main Care

Since 2021, a number of HHS companies have collaborated on creating a coordinated set of HHS-wide actions, with enter from exterior stakeholders and members of the general public, to strengthen main care and advance well being fairness. These actions construct on HHS’s longstanding work in main care and leverage the Division’s insurance policies, applications, and authorities.

HHS has adopted the definition of high-quality main care put forth within the 2021 Nationwide Academies of Science, Engineering and Medication consensus report, Implementing Excessive-High quality Main Care: Rebuilding the Basis of Well being Care:

The availability of whole-person,* built-in, accessible, and equitable well being care by interprofessional groups who’re accountable for addressing nearly all of a person’s well being and wellness wants throughout settings and thru sustained relationships with sufferers, households, and communities.

*Complete-person well being focuses on well-being reasonably than the absence of illness. (NASEM, 2021)

With its set of actions and the adoption of this definition, HHS is capitalizing on its investments in main care, strengthening multidisciplinary groups and staff member roles, bettering digital well being instruments, advancing main care analysis, and supporting apply enchancment to facilitate the availability of whole-person main care.

The Division’s actions purpose to advance well being fairness by bettering equitable entry to whole-person main care; fostering ongoing, trusted relationships between sufferers and their main care clinicians and groups; incorporating enter from the neighborhood into main care; growing the range of the workforce; growing cross-sector partnerships to coordinate preventive providers and handle social wants and environmental elements affecting well being (see ACF, n.d.); supporting bi-directional integration of well being care providers throughout techniques for folks with behavioral well being situations; growing resilience to disasters and emergencies by way of partnerships and workforce competency growth; and advancing digital well being care and first care analysis utilizing a well being fairness lens.

These HHS actions are complementary to and aligned with federal priorities such because the HHS Strategic Plan, the HHS Roadmap for Behavioral Well being Integration, the HHS Strategic Strategy to Addressing Social Determinants of Well being to Advance Well being Fairness, the HHS Overdose Prevention Technique and the White Home Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Well being Disaster. (HHS, n.d.a, n.d.b, 2022a, 2022b; White Home, 2022).   

Taking Motion

HHS is shifting ahead with implementing actions to strengthen main care. Simply final week, the Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Providers (CMS) launched the Doctor Charge Schedule Closing Rule for Calendar Yr 2024, which acknowledges that main care is instrumental within the supply of high-quality, whole-person care (CMS, 2023a). Constructing an efficient longitudinal relationship, in and of itself, is a key facet of offering cheap and obligatory medical care and can improve adherence to therapy suggestions after the go to and through future visits. It’s the work constructing this essential relationship between the practitioner and affected person for main and longitudinal care that has been beforehand unrecognized and unaccounted for throughout analysis and administration visits. CMS will start to offer sure extra funds for physicians and different practitioners delivering main and longitudinal care beginning in 2024.

Different carried out actions embody the report variety of sufferers served in rural and underserved communities by way of Well being Assets and Providers Administration-supported well being facilities; report numbers of scholarships and mortgage reimbursement help awards by way of the Nationwide Well being Service Corps for physicians and nurses presently offering care in rural and underserved communities; a serious enlargement of coaching and teleconsultation entry for main care suppliers on treating psychological well being situations and integrating psychological well being into school-based well being facilities; new grants supporting coaching for brand spanking new main care docs to raised serve people with restricted English proficiency and people with disabilities; the discharge by the by the CMS Heart for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation of a brand new fee and care supply mannequin, Making Care Main, which goals to advance well being fairness and check the availability of enhanced funds, assets, and information to main care clinicians; the enlargement of disciplines whose providers are paid by Medicare, to additional assist multidisciplinary groups; the distribution of latest main care residency slots to underserved areas; and actions that facilitate behavioral well being and first care integration (CMS, 2023b). For instance, the Substance Abuse and Psychological Well being Providers Administration’s newly launched Strategic Plan for 2023-2026 consists of advancing the combination of behavioral and bodily well being care as one in all 5 key precedence areas (SAMHSA, 2023). Additionally, HHS is within the early levels of creating a Main Care Dashboard that can monitor the “well being” of our nation’s main care system and the impacts of HHS actions to strengthen main care.

These are just some of the numerous actions HHS has just lately taken to strengthen main care. HHS has launched a problem temporary that describes extra fully main care actions already taken and highlights the Division’s deliberate future work to strengthen main care (HHS, 2023). With the discharge of this concern temporary, HHS goals to foster collective motion amongst stakeholders and throughout the well being care system and different sectors to maximise particular person and inhabitants well being and well-being; guarantee entry to reasonably priced, complete, whole-person main care all through the nation; and make it attainable for all communities to be served by trusted main care clinicians and multidisciplinary groups who replicate the communities they serve.


A sturdy main care basis for our well being care system is crucial for bettering the well being of our folks and advancing well being fairness. HHS is making strides in strengthening main care in our nation and has plans for additional actions, described within the concern temporary. The Division will monitor the well being of our main care system to develop extra, data-informed interventions and preserve deal with strengthening main care.


ACF (Administration for Kids & Households). n.d. Medical-legal partnerships plus. Workplace of Group Providers. (accessed November 3, 2023).

CMS (Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Providers). 2023a. Calendar yr (CY) 2024 Medicare doctor price schedule last rule. (accessed November 3, 2023).

CMS. 2023b. Making care main (MCP) mannequin. (accessed November 3, 2023).

HHS (U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers). n.d.a. Strategic plan FY 2022-2026. (accessed November 3, 2023).

HHS. n.d.b. Overdose prevention technique. (accessed November 3, 2023).

HHS. 2022a. HHS roadmap for behavioral well being integration. (accessed November 3, 2023).

HHS. 2022b. HHS’s strategic strategy to addressing social determinants of well being to advance well being fairness – at a look. (accessed November 3, 2023). 

HHS. 2023. Main care concern temporary. (accessed November 7, 2023).

HRSA (Well being Assets and Providers Administration). 2022. Main care workforce: Projections, 2020-2035. Washington, DC: Nationwide Heart for Well being Workforce Evaluation. (accessed November 3, 2023).

Jabbarpour, Y., A. Greiner, A. Jetty, A. Kempski, D. Kamerow, G. Walter, and J. Sibel. 2022. Relationships matter: How common is common supply of (main) care? Washington, DC: Main Care Collaborative. (accessed November 3, 2023).

Mendel, P., C. A. Gidengil, A. Tomoaia-Cotisel, S. Mann, A. J. Rose, Ok. J. Leuschner, N. Qureshi, V. Kareddy, J. L. Sousa, and D. Kim. 2021. Heath providers and first care analysis research: Complete report. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Company. (accessed November 3, 2023).

NASEM (Nationwide Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medication). 2021. Implementing high-quality main care: Rebuilding the muse of well being care (Highlights). Washington, DC: The Nationwide Academies Press. (accessed November 3, 2023).

SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Psychological Well being Providers Administration). 2023. SAMSHA’s 2023-2026 strategic plan. (accessed November 3, 2023).

Steinwald, B., P. B. Ginsburg, C. Brandt, S. Lee, and Ok. Patel. 2019. We’d like extra main care physicians: Right here’s why and the way. Washington, DC: The Brookings Establishment. (accessed November 3, 2023). 

The White Home. 2022. White Home blueprint for addressing the maternal well being disaster. (accessed November 3, 2023).


Advised Quotation

Levine, R., R. Burciaga Valdez, C. Brooks-LaSure, J. Hild, M. Tripathi, R. Tso, M. Delphin-Rittmon, and C. Johnson. 2023. The U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers Is Taking Motion to Strengthen Main Care. NAM Views. Commentary, Nationwide Academy of Medication, Washington, DC.

Creator Data

ADM Rachel Levine, MD, is the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Well being. R. Burciaga Valdez, PhD, MHSA, is Director of the Company for Healthcare Analysis and High quality. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, MPP, is Administrator, Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Providers. Jeff Hild, JD, is Performing Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Administration for Kids and Households. Micky Tripathi, PhD, MPP, is the Nationwide Coordinator for Well being Data Know-how. Roselyn Tso, MS, is Director of the Indian Well being Service. Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, PhD, is the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Psychological Well being and Substance Use. Carole Johnson, MA, is Administrator, Well being Assets and Providers Administration.

Battle-of-Curiosity Disclosures

None to reveal.


Questions or feedback must be directed to [email protected].


The views expressed on this paper are these of the authors and never essentially of the authors’ organizations, the Nationwide Academy of Medication (NAM), or the Nationwide Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medication (the Nationwide Academies). The paper is meant to assist inform and stimulate dialogue. It isn’t a report of the NAM or the Nationwide Academies. Copyright by the Nationwide Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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