What is Primary Care Dysfunction (PCD)?

Primary Care Dysfunction

Primary Care Dysfunction, also known as PCD, is the difficulty and frustration experienced by a patient when there is a lack of coordinated and integrated healthcare services by Primary Care Providers and healthcare teams. People experience PCD when one or all of the following integral components of an inclusive healthcare strategy fail or are missing: access to day-to-day care, coordination in the continuity of care and inclusion of non-clinical health aspects in care. 


PCD is caused by a variety of factors, such as Primary Care Providers lacking sufficient resources to attend to all their patients, administrative burdens placed on physicians, physicians having to see too many patients a day and the fee-for-service (FFS) payment model. The greatest cause of PCD is the prevalence of the volume driven FFS revenue model, which incentivizes the volume of treatments over the outcome of treatments. 

PCD is prevalent in the United States of America, with the most impacted group being adults 65+. The reason for the high number of seniors experiencing PCD is lack of dedicated care coordination (someone who can help coordinate all their health, behavioral and social needs) at their Primary Care Provider. 


PCD can manifest itself in a number of different symptoms, including among others: 

–        Lack of access to Primary Care 

–        Lack of availability of Primary Care Physicians

–        Increased wait time in Primary Care Physicians office 

–        Primary Care Physicians spending more time on computers 

–        Primary Care Physicians spending less time with patients 

–        Primary Care Physicians spending less time listening and evaluating patients

–        Primary Care Physicians with poor bedside manners

–        Primary Care Physicians seeing too many patients a day

–        Lack of follow up with patient after discharge 

–        Lack of coordination between Primary Care Physician and patients’ specialists 

–        Lack of holistic approach to patient needs 

–        Lack of inclusion of non-clinical care aspects

–        Increased gaps in care 

–        Decreased patient satisfaction 

–        Deterioration of Chronic Medical Conditions 

–        Patients not receiving proper medication management 

–        Patients not receiving mental healthcare as part of their Primary Care 


Despite the prevalence of PCD, it can easily be treated by having a Primary Care Provider with a value-based care model, which incentives outcomes and coordination, allowing for the provider to practice healthcare from a holistic, patient-centered point of view. Reliance Medical Centers is a proven treatment for PCD due to their unique approach to healthcare. Instead of separating services, Reliance Medical Centers approaches healthcare with a holistic view. They offer physical, mental and emotional healthcare as part of their Primary Care for adults 65+. By coordinating their patients’ care with a Care Focus Team and assigning every one of their patients a Personal Medical Concierge to act as their health and wellness advocate, Reliance Medical Centers can not only treat PCD, but they can prevent it from occurring in the first place. 

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