The authors present a roadmap for necessary primary care practice transformations to care for
patients and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes to U.S. primary health care will occur in five phases, according to the authors. The first three phases describe the transformation of primary care to accommodate COVID-19 testing and triage, as well as virtual visits and targeted outreach to patients with chronic conditions that put them at greater risk of COVID-19 complications. Many U.S. communities are grappling with the fourth phase, recovery after acute care, as primary care provides rehabilitation and recovery services to COVID-19-positive patients after hospital discharge. The fifth phase of the authors’ model addresses the indirect consequences of this pandemic, including worsening mental health, substance misuse, delay of patient’s traditional care, as well as social and environmental health risks like domestic violence, housing, and food and financial insecurity. The paper provides a framework and strategies to spur long-term change and evolution of the U.S. health care system.
Redesigning Primary Care to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Midst of the Pandemic
Alex H. Krist, MD, MPH, et al
Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Richmond, Virginia