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Independent primary care physicians work hard and face many challenges. The primary care physician focuses on overall patient health, while collaborating with specialty providers and healthcare facilities. Of course, improved patient outcomes are reward enough, but independent primary care physicians may also be wondering, what do Americans think about the state of primary care now?
A survey was conducted recently of 22,800 registered voters to determine their attitudes toward primary care. The survey was part of the Health is Primary campaign, out of Family Medicine for America’s Health (FMAHealth) which was created in 2013 by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). The survey participants overwhelmingly agreed that “primary care should be a priority for policy makers.”
In addition, 86% of the survey participants stated that “primary care leads to: healthier patients, higher quality health care, and lower costs.” 88% of Americans responding to the survey said it is important to “ensure coverage for preventive and wellness care to keep patients healthy” and an equal number said it is important to “ensure an adequate supply of primary care doctors.”
Among the priorities for their own health included in the survey, the highest percentage of respondents, 89%, said “it’s important to have a relationship with a doctor or physician who knows your health background and your family and medical history.” Independent primary care physicians who communicate regularly with their patients are able to develop that relationship that then enables them to provide quality healthcare.
In addition, an EHR system that provides all of the patient’s health information in one place, available with one touch, assists the primary care physicians in gathering an overall picture of their patients’ background and medical history. At Elation, we are focused on supporting that physician-patient relationship that has been identified as an important factor in the national attitudes toward primary care.
Kimmy Hu June 21, 2017Read
As healthcare transitions from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement, primary care physicians are the most well-equipped physicians to lead the transition and have the most to potentially gain from the transition as well.
With the cost of healthcare services continuing to rise, patients will start demanding more and more value, while also asking for more transparency and for tools to evaluate if they are receiving the appropriate value of care for what they are paying.
Value-based care suggests that we might be able to considerably improve the quality of care provided to patients while reducing the total cost of care. For this to happen we need to enable primary care physicians with the tools, technology, procedures and economic incentives to help them transform the healthcare system.
The California regulatory model for fully capitated primary care delivery strongly believes in partnering with independent primary care physicians so that we can provide integrated support, technical systems and framework, and a knowledge of reporting requirements in order to help small practices survive and eventually succeed in the transition to value-based care.
If we had this type of support system for physicians transitioning to the value-based care models there would be much less resistance to the change. As stated by the American Academy of Family Physicians, one in three family physicians is already actively pursuing value-based payment models. Primary care physicians goals align with this type of patient care and reimbursement framework, however, physicians have stated that the lack of time and resources to implement the change as being one of the largest difficulties involved in value-based care.
Finding new ways to help physicians manage their costs of care, allow for a greater work-life balance and improve the level of care they give to their patients, can be a very valuable service during this time of transition.
Nick Dealtry June 15, 2017Read