Innovations In Primary Care

Across the country, primary care teams are transforming health care. Individuals and companies across the country are building on major shifts in our system to deliver better care, better health at lower costs.



Increasing Physician Pipeline With New Teaching Hospitals, Residency Programs—State of Georgia

Georgia ranks 44th in the United States in active primary care physicians per capita. To address this physician shortage, especially in primary care in rural area, Georgia implemented a statewide medical education expansion initiative. As a result of this effort, medical school enrollment in the state increased by 600 students from 2000-2010, and the state committed to establishing new GME programs at new teaching hospitals to train 400 additional residents by 2025, which includes an additional 100 family medicine resident physicians. As increasing the capacity of GME programs likely increases the number of physicians practicing in the state, these efforts aim to encourage trainees to practice in Georgia.

The GME Expansion program administrated through the Board of Regents is now in its fifth year and amazing progress has been made to date:

  • State investment of around $17 million dollars in GME start-up funds to new teaching hospitals
  • 9 new teaching hospitals in Georgia (now a total of 21 teaching hospitals statewide)
  • 97 new residents already on the ground
  • 25 percent increase in GME capacity (number of first-year resident slots available in Georgia)

According to data from the 2014 Georgia Board for Physician Workforce's medical student graduate survey, 54 percent of graduating Georgia medical students matched into a primary care specialty program. Nearly 50 percent said they were going to practice in an underserved area, with 27 percent looking to work in a rural community.

Recent Association of American Medical Colleges data showed 52.5 percent of residents in Georgia GME programs stay and practice in Georgia. This increased distribution of GME positions across the state sets the groundwork to better meet the need for primary care and family medicine physicians in Georgia for years to come.

A Practice Built Around the Patient—Qliance, Seattle

At Qliance, a Seattle-based direct primary care practice, patients receive 24/7 access to primary care physicians—in person and by phone or email—for a flat monthly fee comparable to a gym membership. The Qliance model is based on relationship-centered care and everything—from physician pay structure to proprietary IT systems—is built to support this focus on patients.

Physicians and care teams have more time with patients and are able to emphasize holistic care. The result: patients are empowered with the skills and information they need to make healthy choices every day and to be involved in their own care.

The Qliance model has shown comparable results across a broad and diverse customer base representing approximately 35,000 patients. In some cases, the monthly fee is covered by individuals. In others, it is paid by employers and private and public insurers. In fact, Medicaid accounts for 15,000, or almost half, of Qliance’s patients.

Better Health Outcomes through Strong Patient-Physician Relationships—Iora Primary Care, Seattle

Patients can often feel disconnected from their physicians and don’t feel motivated to participate in their own well-being. Iora Health and Humana recognized this challenge and partnered to open Iora Primary Care, a practice in Seattle dedicated to serving senior citizens.

Its model for primary care includes one-on-one health coaching as a way to emphasize preventive care for seniors and establish a dedicated advocate, confidant and friend for patients. As a result of Iora’s model, patients are receiving personalized, comprehensive care and develop strong relationships with their care team.

The Iora model of care has shown results in terms of patients' engagement, satisfaction and outcomes. Results show that these patients are actively engaged, satisfied and very likely to recommend Iora to a friend. Iora’s patients dealing with hypertension and diabetes have had better success controlling these conditions as compared to the national average.


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