The only real result for traditional managed care is controlled access to care.
Certainly, you've felt that. A list of in-network providers and specialists you can choose from. And massive penalties if you go outside the network. It's access, but not really.
And costs? Quality? Neither matters. Because constraining patients to a network, no matter how large or small, doesn’t mean they get better health outcomes. Especially if the network is based in a reactive sick care system where symptom control and disease management are nothing more than Band-Aids to underlying health problems.
In a sick care system, no one gives a patient a plan that will help them live better or overcome their health issues, much less guide them through that plan.
What if managed care was redefined to actually mean managing a patient's care? Just imagine for a moment, a patient works with their provider who guides them and coordinates their care from start to finish.
The patient gets the care they need, even if it requires a referral to specialty care. Simple. Personal. Effective.
But that doesn't have to be just a dream. Primary care through an on-site clinic model can act as the hub for the entire system. Everything, all the other services and specialties, revolves around primary care.
And here's why: primary care doctors have the most extensive training. Before primary care doctors are turned loose on the world, they undergo hours upon hours of rotations through multiple specialties.
As a result, primary care providers think in terms of whole health with a broader understanding of a person. It's a 360-degree view. And primary care provides the greatest opportunity to develop the rapport with a patient, helping them navigate the entire system of specialists should the patient need more focused care.
That's why every primary care provider we hire knows they're ultimately responsible for their patient. If their patient is referred to additional services, our primary care providers partner with the patient and the specialist to make sure everyone involved clearly understands the patient's history, the decisions that need to be made, and the overall plan.
And here's the beauty of it all — because primary care is the center of care through our on-site clinic, we're not controlled by any particular health system. We can make decisions that are in the best interest of the patient, not to mention ensuring the highest quality care and the most affordable cost. But there's also a closed loop, following up with both the patient and the specialist to make sure everything's working the way that it should.
This is the power of care coordination with primary care at the center. A better experience and better care.
We talk a lot about fixing healthcare. And this is just one example of what happens when we stop lying to ourselves about how to fix the entire system. Maybe it's less about making repairs, and more about changing our thinking.