Primary Care Initiative

The Primary Care Initiative is designed to provide a viable and sustainable solution to address the worsening shortage of PCPs.  An ongoing relationship with a primary care physician (PCP) allows patients to address medical needs before they progress and physicians are able to treat the whole person rather than limiting their approach to treating an acute ailment.  As a medical community, we need to intervene further upstream and PCPs are critical to identifying risks before they develop into more serious conditions.

Physician shortage challenge

  • PCPs graphAs a medical community, we face a quiet but growing crisis, the ever-worsening shortage of primary care physicians (PCPs).
  • The community currently needs at least 20 more PCPs than it has.
  • From 2005 to 2009, the number of primary care doctors on Community Hospital's staff who practice on the Monterey Peninsula plummeted from 49 to 32.
  • More than half are not accepting new patients or have limited the insurances they will accept.
  • Adding to the problem, between now and the end of 2010, 43 local physicians are expected to retire, including nine adult PCPs and five pediatricians.


Physician recruitment challenges

Inadequate reimbursement
Since federal payers consider Monterey County a rural area, doctors are reimbursed as much as 18 percent less than in San Jose and San Francisco.

Cost of housing
Monterey Peninsula has high-priced homes due to its coastal location.

Federal and state legal limitations
The corporate bar on the practice of medicine creates challenges for hospitals to recruit and offer benefit packages to doctors.

Lack of a structure to employ new doctors
Most local primary care practices are unable or not interested in recruiting new doctors due to financial risks, lack of capital, and/or inadequate administrative structures to compete for physicians.

Our response

Our response is Peninsula Primary Care (PPC) Peninsula Primary Care

The objectives of PPC are to:

  • Enhance patient access to primary care 
  • Accept all insurance plans
  • Enhance and ensure the viability of existing primary care practices
  • Create an organization that can effectively recruit new physicians
  • Expect and establish a culture of clinical and service excellence so doctors can coordinate overall patient care
  • Develop a model practice for the launch of a community-wide ambulatory electronic medical record, improving information sharing among providers

Learn more about our new locations in Carmel and Marina.