primary care, uncompensated care, workload



  1. Dunham, Daniel P. MD, MPH
  2. Marcelo, Karen MBA, RN
  3. Baker, David W. MD, MPH


Increasing clinical workload with dwindling compensation has challenged primary care medical practices over the past decade. This has led to more physicians leaving and fewer medical trainees entering primary care. In an effort to make primary care practices viable, many groups routinely charge for providing care that was uncompensated in the past. We initiated a program in our practice that charged for certain after-hour and electronic communications, completion of forms outside of office visits, and failure to show for appointments. We assessed the effect on workload, patient adherence to appointments, and financial outcomes. This initiative decreased our physicians' workload, increased physicians' satisfaction, and produced a modest increase in revenues.