It sounds idealistic to say that people matter more than money or technology.
But when it comes to insurance companies, they tend to be far from idealistic and very clear on their profit motive. So we stopped and took notice recently when their actions seemed to show that even they think that when it comes to healthcare, doctors matter more than many other factors.
Fierce Healthcare reports that insurance companies are increasingly buying physician practices, rather than large hospital systems or other entities.
And the characteristics they are looking for in those practices is illuminating. It's not necessarily hard assets, proprietary tech, or other "rock-star" qualities. According to Fierce Healthcare, in the practices that insurers are buying, the commonalities seem to be that the practices are:
Cost-control and quality improvement are more likely to happen when practitioners themselves have a stake in the outcome.
- Strong in primary care.
Primary care is the entry point for most patients and it's where practitioners are focused on the whole patient, not just one condition.
Covering enough specialties to provide a broad spectrum of patient care is important for patient retention and satisfaction.
A medical group must have up-to-date technology to collect and analyze patient data. Higher quality outcomes and lower costs come hand in hand when better data and information are available.
Insurers, of course, aren’t acting altruistically. They know that by focusing on these dimensions, their ability to control costs and increase profits are far greater. In other words -- putting people, especially providers, at the center, is smart business.
We've found the same in all of our work in telemedicine. Despite the common desire to invest in expensive hardware, it's actually great training, good support, and smart workflow that support the strongest telemedicine programs. In other words -- making things people-centered makes things work better.
Learn more about how hybrid store-and-forward telemedicine puts healthcare providers first, and tech second: