For many patients, navigating today’s healthcare landscape is fraught with complexity and insecurity. As they contend with their insurance plans, budgets, and the perceived lack of access to either primary care providers or specialists to help address their medical concerns, they are less inclined to engage with their health and wellness in ways that are informed and impactful.
Employers want to know they’re providing their staff with the right type of coverage and care to promote better health while being cost-effective. Insurers want to know that the solutions they offer set them apart and help the businesses they work with achieve their goals.
But what is the best alternative in a system that doesn’t adequately serve either the needs of patients or companies that are invested in their employees or members?
Advanced primary care
Advanced primary care provides a more comprehensive and proactive approach to health. It is a methodology that emphasizes a higher quality of care and patient engagement over sheer volume to deliver lower costs and better outcomes.
It’s designed to improve how healthcare is managed by optimizing the connections between patients, primary care, specialists, and clinics. Further use of compiled data and analysis, preventive care education, and dedicated health coaching ensure that patients receive a greater breadth of service than most standard healthcare plans can deliver.
Advanced primary care implementation
Here are three areas of advanced primary care implementation and what they mean for a clinic and care team:
1. An informatics platform
What separates advanced primary care from every other model is data. Built on an informatics platform, advanced primary care uses data and predictive analysis to better understand and identify:
The health risks of a specific population to equip and resource a primary care team to provide the right kind of care.
Population cost and how trends have appeared and evolved.
High-value network for ensuring patients are referred to providers that have proven to be low cost, high value.
Care center utilization to determine if new resources are necessary to serve the patients using it.
When you know the care population, the potential risks, and the rewards, it’s easier to establish a primary care system to meet those needs. Advanced primary care helps answer questions like:
What kind of care should a clinic provide?
What kind of disciplines and specialties are needed for a primary care team?
Is worker’s comp a significant concern?
Will a large portion of the population need physical therapy?
How frequent will the phlebotomy needs be?
The answers to all of these questions flow naturally when we understand the care population. Care becomes a more relevant, personalized, and meaningful experience for employees because we’re meeting their real needs.
2. Expansive clinical service
An on-site clinic already gives employees a convenient, centralized location to visit their provider and primary care team.
Through advanced primary care, with data to inform and uncover risks and population health needs, the clinic services are specifically tailored to address the real, relevant healthcare needs of the employees. It requires a team working at the top of their licenses, and with experience and training in some areas of specialty care.
The goal is to create a healthcare environment where a majority of an employee’s health journey takes place within the walls of the on-site clinic.
3. Robust patient engagement and marketing programs
Understanding the data to uncover the potential risks and the health population an on-site clinic serves is also key to relevant promotion with messages that convey a real opportunity to improve health down to the specific individual member.
Because the clinic will only be effective if people actually use it, and people will only use it if they are motivated, are confident in the clinic, and understand the incentive of connecting with the clinic and the care team.
That means that care teams and employers must explore to uncover the right message and then work together to find the correct details to communicate that will alleviate any concern or patient friction.
Whether it’s a simple flyer or a substantial promotional event, all of those go back to supporting utilization — and utilization is the first step on the path to behavior change and better health.