doctor with child and mom The U.S. spends between 5 percent and 7 percent on primary care as a percentage of total health care spending, compared to 14 percent in other countries. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The United States health system is under-investing in primary care, a new report says, leading to higher costs as patients end up hospitalized or in emergency rooms. Not only is there significant variation among states in primary care investment, the United States lags badly behind other developed nations in providing this type of care.

The new report, “Investing in Primary Care: A State-Level Analysis,” was published by the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative’s (PCPCC). The results underlined the importance of primary care, which usually includes some sort of “medical home” model, where patients have a primary provider who is familiar with their history and can direct a care team.

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