“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” - The Constitution of the World Health Organization
Too often, healthcare models take a myopic approach, focusing mainly on disease and infirmity, rather than providing holistic, person-centered care. Symptoms, sickness, and concerns are only addressed after they become major issues and preventative care is deprioritized.
The fee-for-service model, in particular, contributes to a dynamic where patients don’t seek preventative treatment or help for smaller issues. In the short term, this might give the impression of savings, but, ultimately, patients are at a higher risk for serious health issues and/or expensive emergency room visits.
A necessary realignment
When patients are placed at the center of their own healthcare journeys, it offers a true alternative to fee-for-service, sick-care models. With advanced primary care (APC), underlying causes are discovered and discussed proactively, before they have a chance to snowball into major issues. Longer appointments and empathetic listening also contribute to an environment where patients can build important relationships with their providers, contributing to an ongoing pattern of good health.
Healthcare models are currently shifting to improve outcomes and address the high cost of care. As value-based care emerges as an increasingly popular option, it needs a foundation of APC to deliver upon its promise.
Here are five reason APC is a game changer and a necessary model in the drive for high value, low cost care:
Reason #1: APC gives patients access to a medical hub
A medical hub, or home, is a place where patients are able to develop meaningful, one-on-one relationships with their providersand have confidence that their concerns will be listened to and their medical histories understood. Within the APC model:
Care teams possess a comprehensive record of conditions, care gaps, tests and procedures, results, medications, and more.
If patients ultimately require a specialist, APC centers coordinate with those specialists, also providing patient follow-up and support.
Patient engagement is also crucial to the effectiveness of a medical hub. With Vera’s APC model, patients aren’t confronted with long, frustrating waits before meeting with their providers. Not only does this increase their satisfaction, levels of engagement, and health outcomes, but it emphasizes the point that their experience matters.
Reason #2: APC leverages data
Care teams at Vera are provided with the tools and ability to leverage data, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of the populations they serve. Having the right information at the right time allows them to truly take action, targeting high risk patients and populations where they can make the greatest impact. Care gaps are also tackled and outreach is personalized. Providers, coaches, and allied staff frequently use data and analytics to narrow in and create deeper, more customized care experiences with each patient, taking a one-person-at-a-time approach toward improving outcomes and total cost of care for entire populations.
Reason #3: APC provides sustainable solutions for healthcare
A short-term view of health can offer immediate solutions to existing problems, but not long-term, sustainable strategies. The APC model serves patients where they’re at in a given moment, but it also looks for ways to serve their future selves via preventative treatment and the support provided via coaching. This mindset also translates into Vera’s philosophy and how we hire and train our team members, prioritizing impactful, long-term outcomes over quick gains.
Reason #4: APC integrates Vera health coaches into care
Health coaches are able to offer a unique type of care to patients, supporting them in taking small, effective steps toward improving their health. These take the form of adaptive changes and actions, such as quitting smoking, managing stress, or improving sleep. As patients work with health coaches to make progress on their goals, they gain confidence and discover how seemingly small changes can have a huge influence.
Reason #5: APC reduces overall costs
As the price of healthcare continues to increase at every turn, APC is able to halt the rise and reduce the total cost of care. There are a number of reasons contributing to this, but at the center is a philosophy that treating a whole person and giving them continuous and convenient access to a supportive care team prevents serious illness, averting high costs.
Igniting a revolution
Healthcare needs to shift into a more human approach, where patients build trusted relationships with their providers, discovering and discussing underlying causes proactively. Responding reactively to symptoms simply won’t cut it anymore. When healthcare is human-centered, it’s better for everyone, including:
Patients who receive access to world-class care and are better able to avoid serious health issues
Organizations interested in improving workforce health outcomes and lowering total cost of care
Organizations interested in moving to gain the benefits of value-based care - Payers seeking to control costs,increase member satisfaction, and provide an unparalleled experience
Healthcare is constantly evolving and new challenges appear every day. With costs continuing to rise, a unique approach is desperately needed. ACP is the answer, with proven and validated outcomes. At Vera, we’re proud to be at the center of a healthcare revolution, providing real solutions that improve health outcomes and control costs.