Shortage of Primary Care could strain healthcare services

Shortage of Primary Care could strain healthcare services

It is shocking to some to learn that there is a Primary Care shortage in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. According to the County Health Rankings, the patient to primary care physician ratio in Anne Arundel (954:1) is worse than in Maryland (713:1) and the U.S. benchmark (631:1) meaning that more individuals are seeking care from fewer providers. When primary care physicians are not fully accessible or available, the Emergency Department (ED) is often utilized as a source of primary care (as published in “Anne Arundel County, Maryland 2012 Community Health Needs Assessment Final Report.”166671117

But the shortage of Primary Care is certainly not shocking to anyone who has recently gone looking for a good Primary Care office. In fact, people frequently complain that it is very difficult to find a good primary care and if they do find someone they like, often the office is so poorly run that they can’t contact their provider or can’t be seen for 3 months. Many residents complain that staff are rude, the providers are overworked and too busy to listen or that they spend the entire visit typing in their computer and rarely even making eye contact.

Primary Care doctors report feeling burnt out, overburdened with paperwork and too busy to provide good care.

Primary Care doctors report feeling burnt out, overburdened with paperwork and too busy to provide good care.

“Improving access to health care insurance is essential to increasing health and wellness and reducing health disparities. Federal health care reform is expected to increase the number of people with health care insurance.” (from Anne Arundel County Health Department Report Card 2014). 

An interesting finding in the above quoted report is that 28,000 Anne Arundel county residents (14% of 200,000) people had to be admitted to a hospital who could have avoided that hospitalization with access to primary care. Of these, 64 percent were hospitalizations related to chronic conditions (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, asthma, COPD, angina, congestive heart failure) and 36 percent were hospitalizations related to acute conditions (e.g., urinary tract infection , dehydration, bacterial pneumonia).

Direct Primary Care aims to decrease unnecessary hospitalizations, ER visits. 2 recent studies have shown that Direct Primary Care can dramatically impact health by improving access. For instance, a 2010 study showed patients with DPC experienced 56 percent fewer admissions, 49 percent fewer avoidable admissions, and 63 percent fewer non-avoidable admissions than patients of traditional practices. And, if the person was admitted, they were re-admitted 97%, 95%, and 91% less frequently for acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and pneumonia, respectively.

More recently, a study in the British Medical Journal of a Direct Primary Care practice found the following:

35% fewer hospitalizations

65% fewer emergency department visits

66% fewer specialist visits

82% fewer surgeries 

Evolve Direct Primary Care was founded with a mission to bring affordable Direct Primary Care to Anne Arundel County residents. DPC can run $1,500 to $2,500 a year through models such as MDVIP but Evolve’s model offers DPC for just $35/month, which is actually the lowest cost DPC in the United States. Other larger DPC practices such as Qliance and Medlion are charging between $50-100 per month.

The bottom line is that better access equals better care. If you are interested in learning more about how Evolve can provide your family with great access and great care, check out this link: www.Emc4me.com. 

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