The traditional healthcare system is broken. Some would say almost beyond repair. We have a structure of reactive medicine that uses a system of diagnosis codes and one-size-fits-all treatments to deal with an increasingly sick population. There is little consideration given to proactive wellness and preventative medicine to improve patient health. It’s sick care at best and patients are paying for it – both financially and physically.
People don’t look to their primary care physician for ongoing health and wellness advice, recommendations, or prevention strategies. They show up begrudgingly when they, or a member of their family, is sick and needs medical attention. Many of them aren’t even showing up at traditional primary care because it’s faster, easier, and more convenient to use urgent care facilities or specialists for the same needs. Spending on office visits to primary care providers declined 6% from 2012 to 2016, largely driven by an 18% decline in use of primary care visits.
But it doesn’t need to be this way. Primary care works when done right. Primary care is a powerful healthcare tool for patients when it’s proactive and preventative. Yes, sick care will always be needed, and primary care serves that purpose. However, that should not be the only reason patients seek out their primary care provider. There are over 50 recommended preventative screenings and services by the U.S. Preventative Task Force. Sadly, only about 7-8% of patients are taking advantage of these potentially life-saving services.
Consider these facts about the benefits of proactive and preventative primary care:
- Research shows greater use of primary care is associated with lower costs, higher patient satisfaction, fewer hospitalizations and emergency department visits, and lower mortality
- Adults with a primary care provider have 19% lower odds of premature death than those who only see specialists.
- Access to primary care helps keep people out of the emergency room where care costs 4x as much as out-patient care.
What’s behind the decline in visits when the benefits are so obvious? One major reason – time. It’s the time that it takes to get in to see a doctor (average of 24 days), it’s the waiting room time and the time waiting in the exam room (an average of 40+ minutes combined), and the lack of time spent with the physician (13-24 minutes on average).
Patients see primary care as a waste of time and inconvenient.
And physicians are frustrated too. They want to spend more time with patients and provide these preventative services, but the traditional healthcare model gives them roughly 15 minutes per patient.
Connected Health was created out of the frustration physicians and other healthcare providers feel. It was created as a different model to address primary care in a new way.
What’s different about Connected Health?
We are relationship-based care – It is about having a direct relationship between the doctor and the patient. We have a smaller patient base, so we aren’t rushed to see a quota of patients each day. Our members pay a fee to be part of our practice and we don’t accept insurance so that we aren’t burdened by the constraints of insurance requirements. Our appointments are longer and involve more discussion between doctor and patient. And, we literally have no wait times – for appointments, in the waiting room or in the exam room. Connected Health’s model is patient-centered and provides all the proactive services you need to be your healthiest – fitness, nutrition, pharmacy, physical therapy and more.
It’s time to stop accepting the unacceptable and start investing in your health with a primary care practice that looks at all aspects of your life. It’s time to look at primary care as a proactive and preventative solution to your healthcare needs.