We came across an interesting Washington Post article that we want to share. We also want to share some of our thoughts relative to improving our healthcare delivery system. Primary care or everyday healthcare should be the foundation our healthcare system. That is not the case today.
One of the key takeaways from the article is that in order to eliminate wasteful healthcare spending and provide better patient care the focus of our healthcare system must be redirected towards primary caregivers. Primary care practices and clinics are the key to healthier patients. Primary and immediate care access and habitude, including accessibility beyond traditional office hours, will result in the elimination of unnecessary testing and medical procedures as well as favorable health outcomes.
We believe convenience and value will also play a significant role in changing the way people interact and ascribe value to their care provider relationships. Same day appointments, weekend appointments, online scheduling, online prescription refills, email and text communication, telehealth technologies, immediate access to electronic health records and posted pricing will all play a role in making our healthcare system more effective and efficient.
Evolve Direct Primary Care was founded by healthcare professionals who believe our system and our health can be improved. It’s time for a fundamentally new primary care strategy. Primary and urgent care must be dramatically transformed in order to eliminate the current frustrations, time misuse and inefficiencies experienced in physician’s offices. Using technology and a new approach and philosophy to how care is delivered, we have designed a unique primary care and urgent care practice.
You will find a few key excerpts and a link to the Washington Post article below.
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield spent billions of dollars on hospital procedures, drugs and specialty physicians to treat sick patients. Only one dollar in 20 went to the family-care doctors and other primary caregivers trained to keep people healthy.
While much attention has focused on expanded coverage and online insurance bazaars, CareFirst and many others are deciding that the internists and general practitioners who have largely been left behind by health care’s financial boom are the key to improving Americans’ health and cutting the cost of care.
By paying primary-care doctors to cut specialist and hospital revenue, CareFirst is helping to alter the medical spoils system.
George Lowe talks about a 45-year-old CareFirst patient with back pain who headed to the hospital emergency department one recent Saturday. There the man probably would have been sent to radiology for X-rays or other scans and then been referred to a specialist, said Lowe, medical director at Maryland Family Care, a large practice north of Baltimore that participates in the CareFirst program. Instead, the patient checked with an on-call Healthways nurse who is independent but paid for by CareFirst. She told him the primary-care practice was open on weekends. The doctor there diagnosed muscle spasms and advised heat applications and over-the-counter ibuprofen. The man felt good enough to cancel a follow-up appointment and return to work Monday. “Case closed,” said Lowe. “We turned a $1,000 visit to the emergency room into a $75 or $100 visit to the office.” Doctors said they control expenses by prescribing generic drugs when possible, thinking twice about referrals, referring to lower-cost specialists when possible and avoiding duplicate tests and unnecessary emergency visits.