Studies show that regular visits to your primary care provider not only save money (as compared to delaying care and then going to the emergency room) but lives. Emergency visits are 12 times the cost of a doctor's office visit.
In addition, a study showed that increasing the number of PCPs by 10 in a population of 100,000 people, increased the average life expectancy of that group by over 51 days.
Continuity of care is the difference. Substituting providers, for example, relying on urgent care and "Minute Clinics" for cheap, sporadic care, does not improve long-term outcomes.
Unfortunately, we have a shortage of PCP in the United States and less than 10% of prospective doctors are choosing primary care. Plus, many people are afraid to see any doctor due to the cost.