"Primary care is the linchpin of an effective healthcare system, care that must be continuing and comprehensive health care for the individual and family in the context of culture, lifestyle and community." — H. Andrew Selinger, M.D.
He shares the mind-boggling statistics that in 2017, "less than 31 percent of physicians in the state provide primary care." While the general accepted percentage is "50-60 percent!"
Selinger finally asks the question on everyone's mind, "What are we doing?!"
This is the cost of doing business in healthcare. If you read further into the article, Selinger argues this is the result when all eyes are focused more on the bottom line and less on primary care. Which is (or should be) the hub for managing all care for patients, whether they are 25 or 85.
As it stands today, the healthcare system is complicated. Patients spend a majority of their time trying to figure out who's in-network, will insurance cover certain procedures, what does a certain code mean.
Add on top of all of that, a host of specialists telling the patient what they should do and shouldn't do. And without a centralized hub of communication, many times the advice is conflicting without any plan of integration. It's not intentional of course, but what does a patient do — just wait until some catastrophic event leads them into acute care?
It's a waste of both time and money.
This is why primary care is so critical to making sense of the healthcare system. Primary care providers are essential to making the difference between patient-centric care — coordinating plans and follow-ups as a central care hub — and building a book of business.
But in reality, the healthcare system, even the mess it's in today, is working exactly like it's intended to work. And that's not okay.
At Vera, we have a better way of managing a patient's care that's rooted in actually managing the patient's care centralized around primary care doctors through our on-site clinic model.