To simply define terms, a primary care physician — occasionally referred to as a PCP — refers to the doctor who serves as a patient’s main provider of care. In the past, they were often referred to as family doctors or general practitioners.
As the name would imply, the general idea of a primary care physician is that they should be the first line of defense. These physicians should be the go-to option for health concerns.
Unfortunately, the current healthcare system status quo has pushed primary care physicians to the backseat of the medical system. With a broken reimbursement system poorly incentivizing primary care models, primary care physicians are in low supply and high demand. With so little access to ongoing preventative appointments, the risk of long-term, costly health problems skyrockets.
The overall atmosphere that is created for both patients and physicians in this system clearly does not work for anyone. In addition to the higher costs for patients, in terms of both finances and health, primary care physicians are worn thin.
Because of this, it has become increasingly more difficult to incentivize doctors to enter the primary care field at all.
This is why health benefit providers that build on the foundation of the Health Rosetta focus on value-based primary care. Rather than using insurance companies as go-betweens, under this model employers develop direct financial relationships with primary care providers.
This allows everyone involved to focus on quality over quantity, which ultimately conserves resources and allows for a closer and more effective patient-to-physician relationship.
“Value is defined as the ratio of quality to cost,” the Health Rosetta explains. “Value increases as the quality of the care increases or the cost of care decreases.”
That model is in contrast with the status quo, which is the fee for service model– a model under which hospitals are reimbursed for the volume of care they provide, regardless of the quality. The fee for service model thus incentivizes quick patient turn around and disjointed care instead of long term, stable relationships.
This means that the value-based primary care model ends up being the best for everyone involved.
With ongoing relationships between physicians and patients, treatment decisions are able to be made in a holistic fashion that considers the full context of a person’s health. This reduces the number of repeat tests or unnecessary scans that a patient is often subjected to while being shuffled between multiple disconnected providers.
Wait times are also reduced under the more direct relationship. With more effective and consistent appointments, the experience is improved for doctors as well, who can be much more efficient with their time.
If you’re ready to bring this model to your company, find out more about our approach to saving you money and making better care available to your employees!