By Matt Kuhrt
The rapid changes in the American healthcare system have put an increased focus on primary care provision, but practices will need to rethink their approach to primary care if they want to be successful, according to an article in Hospitals & Health Networks.
The ongoing demand for primary care physicians may be outstripping the current supply, but making a dent in the physician shortage will take more than running more students through med school or simply hiring more doctors. Market demand for a less fragmented, more connected primary care experience not only has driven demand for primary care services, but for a set of services that differ, and in some cases exceed, those traditionally offered, according to H&HN.
Medicare's pursuit of quality-based payment models has focused heavily on primary care delivery as a means for changing the overall economics of the healthcare system through an emphasis on preventative care, culminating in the recent rollout of the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus initiative. With insurers and employers following suit, the article suggests, hospitals and health systems must pay particular attention to the following areas as they refocus:
- Team-based primary care services in which a physician works with a wider range of ancillary specialists, such as psychologists, health coaches and nutritionists, will help practices compete with retail providers, per H&HN.
- The article suggests practices consider expanding into retail, virtual, or employer-based care provision, to refocus on access to patient services, as opposed to access to a physician.
- H&HN predicts payment models will shift to a combination of traditional plan-based contracts and fee-based models.
To learn more:
- read the article