We really are in a new era. The last seven years has seen unprecedented changes in our healthcare system. We’ve have seen the passage of the Affordable Care Act, we’ve seen the employer mandate, the individual mandate, we’ve seen rising premiums, supersize deductibles, we are seeing tremendous consolidation among hospitals and healthcare providers in the healthcare system. They’re really forming these healthcare conglomerates. Essentially over the past seven years we’re moving away from a personalized individual healthcare system to a public institutionalized healthcare approach.
I want to focus on something that is personal and impacts every single one of us. In the new era of healthcare, we must answer two very important questions. Who am I going to trust with my care and the healthcare of the people that I love? The second question is how am I going to receive that care? In today’s healthcare system, the new era of healthcare system we have a lot of choices. Choices are great, but we must be educated consumers. In the past it was easy when we were trying to think about answering those questions. The who is our primary care doctor and the how was going to their office. But today, there are many different choices.
We have a growing shortage of primary care physicians in our country. We have doctors that are retiring early from primary care, and we have new doctors that are not going into primary care. This means access to a highly skilled primary care physician is increasingly becoming more and more difficult. Increasingly we are seeing primary care delivered by nurse practitioners and physician assistants. We are also seeing confusion in the marketplace about the term doctor and physician. These terms are not as clear as they were in the past. In the past using these terms people generally knew what that meant, and they were referring to a healthcare professional.
Today you can go on the internet and have a consultation with a doctor who doesn’t know you, who can’t examine you, who can’t do any labs or diagnostic testing, but will render a diagnosis and a treatment. We’re seeing medical clinics popping up in pharmacies. Walmart is getting into the business of healthcare now. These options are as convenient as fast food, but in our opinion, they are just as dangerous! We must be educated consumers. Another option is to see our primary care doctor, but increasingly in the new era of healthcare it seems as if doctors have less and less time to spend with their patients.
These two questions are important. We are not asking who is going to be my mechanic or who is going to be my plumber. These are questions that in some circumstances have life and death implications. The answers to these questions impact our health and there is nothing more important than our health. At SALTA Direct Primary Care and Premier Private Physicians, we believe that access to healthcare is everything. We believe that there is an ideal model of primary care delivery that involves a direct relationship between the patient and the physician. This ideal model is called direct primary care or concierge medicine which has three crucial components…time, communication, and a relationship.
It starts with time; time is the currency of excellence. If excellence in healthcare is our goal, we must spend time on it to achieve it and for a physician that means time with their patient; time to communicate. If you talk to any doctor, they will tell that it is the history component of what we do is talking to the patient that allows us to arrive at a true diagnosis and a true treatment plan. The final component is vital, a relationship.
This new era in healthcare is upon us and unfortunately these three critical components of time, communication and a relationship are increasingly difficult to find. The decision is yours! Who are you going to trust and how are you going to access the care that you need in today’s healthcare system?