Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Term Paper


School of Unrestricted Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Alisa DeBorde


Historically, primary care has been delivered by physicians in private practices. However, pre-medical and medical students considering primary care should consider that market trends and physician preferences are changing the delivery methods of primary care. This thesis aims to predict the future delivery methods of primary care in America. By analyzing current studies, articles, and physician polls, it asserts that private practices are not a financially viable practice model and that medical systems will dominate primary care. Firstly, it identifies low insurance reimbursement rates, increasing quality documentation requirements, and an unhealthy work-life balance as the primary obstacles to private practice sustainability. It predicts that private practices will shrink to service less than 20% of the primary care market. The practices that survive will be forced to form group associations or specialize in concierge practice to maintain financial viability. The thesis explores the financial effects of the future private practice transformation; however, it is unable to analyze the quality of care due to insufficient studies. Secondly, it argues that medical systems will dominate primary care because of high insurance reimbursement rates, physician retainment, and effective use of auxiliary staff. It predicts that health systems will reform primary care in three primary areas: Health systems will shift the burden of care from physicians to non-physician practitioners, physicians will become leaders of primary care teams and coordinators of care, and medical billing will adapt to prioritize value-based care. Although research is limited, it appears that future primary care delivery may value quantity over quality.