ClickCare Café

If More Health Insurance Doesn't Save Money, Maybe Telemedicine Can?

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Mon, Aug 10, 2015 @ 07:30 AM

healthinsurancetangle

 

Common wisdom tells us that the more people are insured, the more preventative care happens, the less complex and expensive illness we treat, and so the less we have to spend on healthcare overall.

This logic was a large part of the rationale for the Affordable Care Act. As President Obama said in his 2009 address to Congress, “There’s no reason we shouldn’t be catching diseases like breast cancer and colon cancer before they get worse. That makes sense, it saves money, and it saves lives.”

Interestingly, that's all wrong.

As the New York Times recently reported, "There’s strong evidence from a variety of sources that people who have health insurance spend more on medical care than people who don’t. It also turns out that almost all preventive health care costs more than it saves." Jonathan Gruver, an MIT Economist, goes on to explain: “It’s a nice thing to think, and it seems like it should be true, but I don’t know of any evidence that preventive care actually saves money,”

Long story short, good preventative care saves money for individual patients. It doesn't, however, save money overall since it costs more to help everyone avoid the disease than it does to treat the few people who would have ended up getting it. Plus, as we've explored in other posts, the newly insured also tend to place a burden on providers and hospital systems, since these patients tend to be sicker than average.

So if treating complex illness is expensive, and preventing illness is expensive, is there any way that we can be active about saving money as providers and administrators?

Yes. I think there are a few things to keep in mind, even as it can seem discouraging when the "right" thing (preventative care) doesn't ultimately save costs to the overall system.

First, medical providers often know what the best course of treatment is for an individual patient (even with a healthy consideration of costs), even if the population-level design can be murkier. Plus, as the New York Times reports, cost savings do happen when providers are able to make sure that work isn't duplicated or wasted. For instance, medical collaboration can keep patients from falling between the cracks during transitions. And telemedicine can decrease overall costs in a hospital system, decrease length of stay, and improve readmissions. Dr. Brent C. James affirms that this type of measure can decrease costs, calling it the “do it right the first time" approach.

 

To explore how telemedicine decreases costs and improves care, click here: 

ClickCare Quick Guide to Telemedicine

Tags: telemedicine, medical collaboration, telemedicine roi, affordable care act, affordable care act compliance

3 Shifts in Medicine (and How It's Paid For) You Need to Watch

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Tue, Jul 07, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

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Healthcare in the US is almost unfathomably complex. Plus, it's always changing, such that it can be very hard to notice trends in any useful way.

However, we are at an especially volatile and important moment in medicine, with the reverberations of the Affordable Care Act still playing out. Just in the past few weeks, I've noticed a few trends that I think every ACO, every hospital, and every medical provider should have their eyes on.

3 shifts in medicine that will probably impact you in the next year:
  • Insurers will be demanding "more" from providers and hospitals.
    On one hand, insurers are squeezed by higher-than-expected costs of the newly insured. Many are now requesting rate increase approval from the government. As the New York Times reports, "The rate requests, from some of the more popular health plans, suggest that insurance markets are still adjusting to shock waves set off by the Affordable Care Act." On the other hand, many insurers are merging, which gives them more leverage over hospitals and providers.  The pressure to increase revenue and cut costs, combine with increased power from mergers may well add up to more demands on providers and hospitals.
  • Non-traditional care contexts are becoming the norm.
    Because of shifts in what is able to be reimbursed under the Affordable Care Act, there are new delivery mechanisms being pioneered. For instance, there is a current boom in diet clinics, due to ACA reimbursement for obesity consultations and treatment. It's likely that as care outside of doctors' offices increases (with other medical providers being the ones actually interfacing with the patient), healthcare collaboration (especially using telemedicine tools) will become more important. Collaboration will need to happen more, and across the spectrum of care, in order for patients not to fall between the cracks.
  • Home care is a growing segment of medicine, and we're (mostly) not doing it well.
    Data is beginning to suggest that there are more homebound people than ever before, and they're sicker. Plus, there are more caregivers who are older family members and need support themselves. This type of dynamic means that medical providers are responding, and finding ways to provide care at home. For instance, there is a growing group of geriatrics practices that make housecalls. And if those housecalls have to be made by specialists because there is insufficient technology to allow collaboration at a distance, that's going to be unsustainable. If these trends continue, we'll need to find ways for the people providing the home care to be supported by other medical providers, in efficient and effective ways.

For decades, medical providers had the luxury of ignoring macro trends. These days, however, I think that we ignore these dynamics at the peril of ourselves, our practices, and our patients. For us to act with wisdom, sustainabily, and in service of good medicine, we must act with these things in mind.

And really, that is more of a privilege than a burden.

 

To learn how iClickCare can help you adapt to these shifts, click here: 

 

Tell me more about iClickCare

Tags: accountable care, homecare, ACO, affordable care act, home care, affordable care act compliance, insurance,

Can Telemedicine Protect Your Hospital from Super Utilizers?

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 @ 07:30 AM

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A recent New York Times article tells the story of Jerome Pate, a homeless man who visited the Emergency Room 17 times in 4 months last year. He would go if he was sick. And he would go if he was cold, or drunk, or hungry, or suicidal. In other words, he had a lot of visits, for minor or nonexistent medical problems, with a serious root cause (in this case, his homelessness). Mr. Pate was a super utilizer. 

“We had this forehead-smacking realization that poverty has all of these expensive consequences in health care,” said Ross Owen, a county health official who helps run the experiment here. “We’d pay to amputate a diabetic’s foot, but not for a warm pair of winter boots.” This type of pattern would have actually been a cost center in the old medical system. When you're paid by the visit, many visits for small or nonexistent problems actually work in favor of the hospital in terms of profit.

In an age of penalties for readmissions, and pay-for-performance being the rule of the day, this is not a strategy that works.

More than 11 million Americans have joined the Medicaid rolls since the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act went into effect. For those patients, as well as for Accountable Care Organizations and managed care hospital systems, super utilizers can be a major source of costs -- as well as care that doesn't really meet the patient's needs.Some people have expensive problems that are only solved by many hours of a single specialist. But some of the largest shares of spending are actually from the super utilizers who are racking up costs with very simple problems.

Hospitals and providers who use iClickCare have been finding that the needs of super utilizers can be best met with the support of telemedicine. When providers collaborate across the spectrum of care, it is much easier to deal with patients who have nonmedical issues exacerbating or causing their primary compliant. It allows providers to communicate on their own time, across buildings, and spanning visits.

Here are 3 ways telemedicine and medical collaboration can help you care for super utilizers and make sure costs are contained:

  • Stop people from falling between the cracks. With Mr. Pate, for instance, the hospital's procedures and systems made it so that each time he came in, the ER team assessed and/or treated him for the medical concern he presented with. Even if the providers in the ER were aware of the nonmedical issues he was facing, they had no good way to connect him to the services he needed -- services that may have prevented him from circling back to the ER the very next week. With a medical collaboration platform like iClickCare, an ER doc could leave a question or consult for a health outreach or social service worker at 3am and that other provider could connect with the patient or the original doctor the next day.
  • Create a broad treatment team. Because medical collaboration lets you create a treatment team across the spectrum of care, the components of a patient's problems that are less directly "medical" can be cared for. A collaboration in iClickCare, for instance, can include teachers, health outreach workers, social workers, the ER doctor, a specialist, and a primary care doctor. All sharing their thoughts and questions on their own time, in a single place.
  • Resolve the root problem the first time. In Mr. Pate's case, he was 17 visits in and his root problem -- his homelessness -- still hadn't been addressed. It is better care (and more cost effective) to buy a person a pair of winter boots than to amputate a diabetic's foot. And a telemedicine platform can allow providers to get to the root of the problem through collaboration and continuation of care -- without allowing things to get bad, painful, and expensive. 

 

For our complete Quick Guide on telemedicine, click here: 

ClickCare Quick Guide to Telemedicine

Tags: telemedicine, telemedicine roi, affordable care act, managed care, aca, super utilizers

Why Obamacare's Birthday Matters to Medicine

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 @ 07:30 AM

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The Affordable Care Act, know as Obamacare, celebrated its 5th anniversary on March 23.
Juxtaposed to that is Match Day which was on March 20th: a significant day when medical students find out where they will go to learn the real skills of being a doctor.  According to Shara Yurkiewicz, who matched at her first choice of Stanford rehabilitation medicine, this was the largest match ever, with 41,334 applicants, of whom 34,900 submitted a rank list, and 75.2% matching.
Match day is a day of promise, a day of excitement, and a day of disappointment.  Little understood by the participants is the fact that it all really doesn’t matter. One educates oneself.
The education continues as being a doctor and having doctor skills flows against another set of numbers as represented by statistics touted as success of the Affordable Care Act. 40 million people are uninsured, while in 2010 there were 50 million uninsured. Favorable opinions have declined about the ACA and now it seems the unfavorable opinions outweigh the favorable ones. Kids are legislated to be covered by their parents until they are 26. Smokers can be charged more, and end of life counseling is paid for.
The irony that the challenge new doctors will face and the challenge the country will wrestle with is that sooner or later, we all run out of money. “Death panels” can be overt, or be part of a hidden agenda toward quality. In the past, despite insurance, no one, ever, was denied care. Can it be denied now?
It is our responsibility as citizens, and very much the responsibility of the newly matched doctors to be sure that the patient comes first. It is part of the Hippocratic Oath which they will recite in a couple of months as they are sent on their way to become the apprentice journeymen of a system in disruption.
iClickCare is our way of contributing to a brighter future for medicine. Join us with a free trial here: 
Try the iClickCare 14-day evaluation  

Tags: affordable care act, match day

Should Cost Effectiveness Be a Factor in Medical Care?

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 @ 07:30 AM

When hospitals and providers decide to use telemedicine as a tool, ROI and cost effectiveness is always a factor. Telemedicine makes it more cost-effective to see our patients and provide a high level of care, so of course that is part of the equation. 

But a recent New York Times article got us thinking. The author does specifically advocate for a thoughtful usage of cost effectiveness data in care decisions. But also he acknowledges that the approach can go very wrong. For instance, he tells the story of an Oregon woman who was denied a $4,000 per month lung cancer treatment by Medicaid because it wasn't deemed cost effective... and then was told that Medicaid would, in fact, cover drugs for physician-assisted suicide since she now had few other options.

Situations like this make many medical providers -- and patients -- want to run for the hills and declare "cost effectiveness" a dirty word.

Despite the US medical system being among the most expensive in the world, we do provide some of the best and most innovative medical care in the world. We've innovated approaches to care that resonate across the planet. And we've all heard horror stories of the illogic and bad care that can happen when providers are treated like factory workers, prioritizing efficiency and cost savings above all else. 

So what is the answer? Should cost effectiveness be considered in care decisions and policy?

Perhaps like everything else, it is an issue of balance. It is clearly unsustainable to ignore cost effectiveness altogether -- and costs in one area of the medical system will eventually affect others. On the other hand, blanket policies that eliminate classes of care are bad medicine and sometimes inhumane. So, as so often is the answer, the providers must use their judgement. Even when it comes to costs, medicine is both an art and a science.

 

If ROI comes into play for you when considering telemedicine, take a look at our Quick Guide to compate the options: 
ClickCare Quick Guide to Telemedicine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: telemedicine roi, good medicine, affordable care act, affordable care act compliance

Why "House Calls" Need Telemedicine -- Especially in Senior Care

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 @ 09:09 AM

 

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It goes without saying that in the 3+ decades that I've been a doctor, I've seen a lot of changes in the medical profession. Many of these changes have been difficult, of course -- plummeting time with patients, ludicrous paperwork, and illogical financial incentives, among them.

From time to time, however, I see big changes in medicine that are deeply positive. The most powerful and progressive changes are happening through:

  • Thoughtful integration of simple "good medicine"
  • Alignment with current political and financial realities
  • Creative use of existing technologies.

The "return of the house call" is one of these fantastic trends. For a long time, it has looked like the house call went the way of the doctor's bag -- a nice idea but not something that fits our current reality. Recently, however, there has been a resurgence in house calls and home care for everything from palliative care to wound care to concierge medicine.

The return to medical providers visiting patients at home is supported by common incentives and the current political climate. For instance, the Affordable Care Act penalizes readmissions within 30 days of discharge; integrated home care is seen as one way to decrease readmissions and improve outcomes. Also, a focus on a "fee for performance" rather than a "fee for service" model, and an overall push to cut costs, has encouraged the "house call" approach. Finally, as the New York Times reports, "Home care is generally cheaper than hospital care, and for more than a decade, government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid have worked to create incentives for hospitals to switch to less-expensive treatment."

Because home care is removed from the traditional hospital setting, medical collaboration is crucial to successful home care.

For instance, a 2007 study, by Dr. Richard Brumley and colleagues, found that palliative care patients who received in-home interdisciplinary care were less likely to visit the emergency room or be admitted to the hospital than those receiving standard home care. This resulted in lower costs. For house calls and home care to really work, they need to incorporate providers across specialities and across the continuum of care. Providers must collaborate because it is not efficient for every provider to visit the patient at home, but a home visit can be a crucial part of an integrated approach. And telemedicine is the key for this kind of medical collaboration to be effective, cost-efficient, and time-sensitive.

We've found that house calls and home care are especially powerful when the following components are in place:

  • Healthcare providers at all points in the spectrum are included.
  • Multiple specialties collaborate on a single patient.
  • Tools like store-and-forward telemedicine are used to enable rapid and time-sensitive consults. 
  • There is a focus on medical collaboration in service of good patient outcomes (rather than a simple "counting" of visits or services.) 
What has your experience been? Have house calls and home care been a part of your approach to patients? What key elements have you noticed. We look forward to hearing, in the comments below. 

For our Quick Guide on medical collaboration, click here:

ClickCare Quick Guide to Medical Collaboration



Image courtesy of myfuturedotcom on Flickr, used under Creative Commons rights.

Tags: telemedicine, medical collaboration, ACO, home care, homecare, affordable care act

7 Ways Telemedicine Helps Compliance with Accountable Care

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 @ 08:52 AM

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Barely a day has gone by recently, that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have not been in the news.

In the broadest strokes, the Accountable Care movement attempts to shift the health payment system from a pay-for-service (fee based) system, to a pay-for-performance (outcomes based) system. Of course, for hospitals that want to accept Medicare and Medicaid, these reforms are mandated. But the overall approach affects almost all practices, regardless of status or whether you are an ACO.

Part of the reason that these policies aren't going anywhere is that early data shows they're working. In 2012, ACOs established in the Medicare's Shared Savings Program generated nearly $400 million in savings, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said in a statement released last week. 

Despite the laws, it's not always clear how to use telemedicine to improve outcomes in a pay-for-performance system. Interestingly, telemedicine and telehealth has been identified as a key tool in compliance with Accountable Care. It is even written into CMS' final rule for the Medicare Shared Savings Program: accountable care organizations must "define processes to promote evidence-based medicine and patient engagement, report on quality and cost measures, and coordinate care, such as through the use of telehealth, remote patient monitoring, and other such enabling technologies.

So here are 7 ways telemedicine can help you comply with Accountable Care: 

  1. Telemedicine makes care coordination possible and effective. Just changing incentives is not enough to improve outcomes. As the New England Journal of Medicine reports, "Merely aligning financial incentives will not improve quality and reduce costs for episodes of care... True coordination of care is required to ensure the best possible outcomes." Telemedicine makes this kind of care coordination possible and effective, particularly in a hybrid store-and-forward context that adapts to provider parameters.
  2. Telemedicine makes transportation less necessary. Whether home monitoring or distance consults, telemedicine can save costs of unnecessary visits and lengthy transportation. When payment is linked to outcomes, even saving a patient or provider a single trip can make a big difference over an organization.
  3. Telemedicine leverages provider time. In an age of provider shortages, telemedicine can make each provider's minutes count as much as possible. Through consults, collaboration, and even remote patient visits, provider time is leveraged. 
  4. Telemedicine can decrease readmissions. Because telemedicine can help the right at-home care to happen, clarify which provider is responsible, and make sure patients follow through, telemedicine has been shown to have a strong effect on decreasing readmissions.
  5. Telemedicine can drop length of stay. Data shows that care coordination, especially the kind of collaboration supported by telemedicine, is one of the strongest ways to drop length of stay. And length of stay is a key outcome in Accountable Care.
  6. Telemedicine improves access to care. Telemedicine can improve access for the underserved in rural, urban, or Veteran populations. Especially as provider shortages worsen in different parts of the country, and for different specialities, this kind of access to care is proving crucial in keeping costs down and meeting patient needs.
  7. Telemedicine supports good patient care, regardless of political climate and payment changes. Truth be told, many of our colleagues have been using telemedicine to improve the ways they care for patients -- regardless of whether it's rewarded by the current political context. We think that's good practice, in every election cycle.

 

Click here for our free guide on the pros, cons, and ROI of telemedicine options:

 

ClickCare Quick Guide to Telemedicine

 

 

Image courtesy of chelseastirlen on flickr.com, used under Creative Commons rights.


Tags: collaboration, coordinated care, accountable care, ACO, telemedicine roi, telemedicine solutions, communication with patients, decrease readmissions, decrease length of stay, affordable care act

Can Telemedicine Lower the Cost of Healthcare?

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 @ 08:14 AM

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Telemedicine is thriving these days -- there is even an ad on prime-time featuring it -- and a key reason are the ways telemedicine lowers the cost of healthcare. One indicator of this is the political support: "Telehealth is a major contributing factor to increased health care quality, convenience, and lower costs," said Reps. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) and Bill Johnson (R-Ohio). And there is certainly anecdotal evidence from around the country, like this tele-dermatology program in Nantucket saving nearly $29,000 a year.

In fact, we've found that the people and organizations that use iClickCare experience such significant and immediate cost savings that we've even incorporated an ROI calculator on our website. Dr Michael Moore, director of a wound care program, reported that "During a 3 month period, 70 patients were treated solely using iClickCare with an overall healing rate of 93% and an estimated savings of $24,000 in transportation costs alone."

Of course, despite its clear potential and proof points, telemedicine doesn't always cut costs. It's important to look at projects like this one for lessons from the front lines about what really works, and what doesn't.

So if you're considering a telemedicine program in your hospital, practice, or region... 

5 things to keep in mind to ensure telemedicine lowers the cost of healthcare:

  1. As we shared in this post, you are not setting yourself up for success if you make huge investments in hardware. We recommend investing in software (which can be updated, and is generally the lowest portion of costs) rather than hardware which gets obsolete quickly. Use the equipment you already have, the spaces already available to you, and just start. 
  2. Give special attention to readmissions and length of stay. Readmissions within a month of discharge cost $16 billion per year. And as we all know, readmissions and length of stay are big parts of the ACA shared outcomes focus. So we're interested in data showing that medical collaboration may be one of the strongest ways to decrease length of stay... and in this Connected Cardiac Care program, which has achieved a 51% decrease in readmissions with telehealth monitoring.
  3. Prioritize rural areas or very urban areas. Geographically removed areas (whether rural or inner-city) find the most cost-cutting benefits from telemedicine. "By decreasing the importance of location for healthcare provision, telemedicine can help increase competition and further lower healthcare spending for primary care and specialist consultations... using technology to allow health care workers to quickly serve those where there is the greatest demand will create a more efficient health care system overall," says Ben Miller of the WFS.
  4. Use your people effectively. Because of the provider shortage, the leveling of access helps cut costs and use our provider workforce most efficiently. As Dr. Brian Rosenfeld, Chief Medical Officer at Philips Healthcare, said, "Telehealth offers the opportunity to provide the access, quality and cost that will be necessary to increase prevention and leverage our current workforce."
  5. Work in coordination with the Affordable Care Act. Telemedicine may prove to be the linchpin in controlling costs and outcomes as the Affordable Care Act comes into being more broadly, according to Mario Gutierrez, executive director for the Center for Connected Health Policy.

Overall, we've seen over and over again the cost savings that can be experienced through telemedicine. But we do suggest keeping it simple, start small, and start today.

For an overview of choices in telemedicine, download the Quick Guide to Telemedicine

ClickCare Quick Guide to Telemedicine

 

 

Image courtesy of seeminglee on flickr.com, used under Creative Commons rights. 


Tags: telemedicine, accountable care, telemedicine roi, telemedicine solutions, decrease readmissions, decrease length of stay, affordable care act

4 Surprising Reasons Telemedicine Is Thriving

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Tue, Jan 14, 2014 @ 09:07 AM

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Telemedicine practitioners can feel isolated. They are often among a handful of people in their immediate practice or hospital who are using telemedicine to perfect care, improve outcomes, and make their lives easier. 

The truth, however, is that healthcare providers using telemedicine are part of a large, growing, and thriving community. When we started working in this field almost two decades ago, telemedicine was rare. Now, however, the most committed, innovative healthcare providers all use telemedicine in one form or another. 

Telemedicine is actually thriving. Here are 5 reasons why: 

  • Politics are catching up. As this article details, parity laws are going into effect in several states. Also, the Telehealth Modernizaion Act -- to establish a clear definition of telehealth -- is on its way to going through. "Telehealth is a major contributing factor to increased health care quality, convenience, and lower costs," said Reps. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) and Bill Johnson (R-Ohio)
  • Telemedicine is reaching critical mass. Research and Markets is predicting 18.5 % growth in global telemedicine in the next 4 years. 
  • New providers are more familiar with technology. For some of the same reasons as we highlighted in our discussion of concierge medicine, and as this article discusses, new providers are adopting practices like telemedicine at higher rates.
  • Providers are using smartphones in their practice. According to Verizon, "38% of physicians with smartphones use medical apps on a daily basis, and that number is expected to increase to 50% this year. Two-thirds of healthcare providers said that implementing or improving their use of mobile technologies is a high or mid-level priority during the next 12 months."

We're thrilled to know that providers are connecting better, people are collaborating, and patient care is improving as telemedicine becomes more widespread.

 

If you're looking into the options, get our Quick Guide to Telemedicine here:

ClickCare Quick Guide to Telemedicine

 

Image courtesy of thomaslevinson on flickr.com, used under Creative Commons rights. 

Tags: telemedicine, medical collaboration software, telemedicine law, accountable care, ACO, telemedicine roi, telemedicine solutions, patient satisfaction, affordable care act, concierge medicine

Concierge Medicine -- Just for the Rich?

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Mon, Dec 09, 2013 @ 07:44 AM

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The phrase "concierge medicine" conjures up visions of white glove treatment, house calls to yachts, and luxury medical experiences. Some even suggest that these luxury, tailored, out-of-pocket approaches may be unethical because they divert resources from the rest of the medical system.

New models, however, are demonstrating that concierge medicine is not just for the elite. As we detailed in our last post, concierge medicine is, at its core, a direct payment model. Rather than providers caring for patients and collecting payment primarily through government or insurance programs, providers provide care and arrange payment directly. These models are sprouting up in a variety of contexts and with a wide spectrum of payment structures -- but all are beginning to prove that concierge medicine -- or at least some kind of direct care and payment model -- may be used more broadly.

One model, often termed "direct primary care", is being used for everyone from tech entrepreneurs to long-haul truckers. Sherpaa and Qliance are two companies that are providing primary care plans for as little as $50 per month, often in combination with insurance coverage for further treatment. “The concierge model carries a lot of baggage in being health care for the wealthy,” said Dr. Erika Bliss, a family physician and Qliance’s chief executive. “We want to grow this and bring the price point down to average Americans.” The outcomes have been very promising in decreased costs, increased patient satisfaction, and improved health outcomes.

In an age of physician shortages (especially for poorer patients), healthcare provider burnout, and inflated costs, researchers and government officials are seeing opportunity in direct care. An even more populist model, which is also being looked at as a possible opportunity, are clinics in major US cities that meet the needs of the uninsured, especially Spanish-speakers. These clinics offer offer round-the-clock-hours, cultural and linguistic fluency for recent immigrants, and upfront pricing that assumes a lack of insurance -- all things that make these solutions perfect for many. It is reported that "Health officials see in the clinics an opportunity to fill persistent and profound gaps in the county’s strained safety net, including a chronic shortage of primary care physicians."

Of course, there are concerns that the standard of care with low-income clinics and even direct primary care models could suffer. Some patients may not have coverage for specialists or hospital services. Some doctors may not have admitting privileges at local hospitals. And many worry that patients with more severe health needs or more limited funds may not actually end up with the care they need. That said, models like Qliance's and Sherpaa's do seem to be meeting some significant needs, and we'll likely see plenty of innovation in this direct care model in the years to come.

 

Telemedicine is crucial in a direct care model. Get our guide to your options:

 

ClickCare Quick Guide to Telemedicine

 

 

 


Tags: telemedicine roi, communication with patients, improving patient satisfaction, healthcare provider burnout, affordable care act, concierge medicine

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