Roughly 10% of the American population has diabetes. What’s worse is that 20% of those with diabetes don’t even know they have it. These people don’t find out they have diabetes until its symptoms take over their lives and leave them with no choice but to go to the doctor for treatment. That’s when they learn the terrible news of their diabetes diagnosis.
The number of positive diagnoses for diabetes continues to skyrocket across the United States. There has been a nearly 14% increase in the number of deaths from diabetes over the last few years alone. Why is this happening? How come so many Americans are suffering and dying from diabetes?
The Difficulties of Diabetes Management
Insulin was invented over 100 years ago, yet too many Americans with diabetes don’t have access to this life-saving medication. The high cost of insulin forces them to choose between food or their next meal. But what if there was another way to reverse diabetes symptoms that didn’t involve spending much money on medication?
The key to diabetes management is establishing a diet and exercise routine for a patient. Unfortunately, most primary care physicians in the United States don’t talk much about diet and exercise when treating diabetic patients, if at all. As a result, diabetic patients don’t receive the proper education about how diet and exercise can significantly help treat diabetes and reverse its symptoms.
So why don’t primary care physicians talk to their patients about diet and exercise? Why don’t they create a custom diet and exercise plan to help each patient reduce and reverse their symptoms of diabetes? Well, the answer is the fee-for-service healthcare model that most physicians use at their practices. This healthcare model gives doctors little time with their patients and requires medication to be prescribed to treat their symptoms on an ongoing basis.
The fee-for-service model depends on patients visiting their doctors as often as possible for treatment because it is the only way the doctors can stay in business. Unfortunately, American medical schools teach students to treat symptoms rather than cure patients. Treating symptoms requires patients to return to their doctors for more medication regularly. But what it doesn’t do is address the overall cause of their diabetes. If it did, patients would be cured and no longer need to visit their doctors for treatment. Then, the doctors wouldn’t make as much money under the fee-for-service model.
How to Personalize Diabetic Care for Your Patients
If you want to be an honest primary care physician who practices under the value-based care model, you need to personalize the diabetic care plan of your diabetic patients.
Here are the top 5 ways to better manage your diabetic patients’ healthcare needs.
1) A Well-Balanced Diet is Better than Medication
A well-balanced diet is always the best way to reverse common physical health challenges like diabetes, hypertension, and kidney disease. The problem is that most primary care physicians won’t talk to patients about how to balance the micronutrients and macronutrients to eliminate these conditions. Instead, they’ll make a brief dietary recommendation like “reduce your salt intake” or “cut down on carbs.” However, these recommendations don’t address the patients’ lack of other nutrients like protein and vitamins.
Therefore, you must educate your patients about the best food choices they can make to treat their condition on a long-term basis. You should also give them resources and additional support information about how they can implement these dietary changes in their lives successfully.
2) Prescription Medication Must Get Taken Properly
Prescription medication can address short-term health challenges. But if you decide to prescribe medication, ensure your patients take it correctly. Verify that your patients are taking the medication doses appropriately without consuming too little or too much. Otherwise, the medication won’t do anything positive to treat their condition.
3) Create a Custom Treatment Plan
Primary care physicians habitually recommend textbook-based treatment solutions or treatments based on medical theory. The problem is that every patient’s condition is different to some degree. That is why they need a custom treatment plan to address their specific dietary challenges based on their lifestyle habits.
4) Build Relationships with Patients
Patients don’t often listen to their doctor’s treatment recommendations if they don’t trust them. So if you want to ensure your patients have a more successful outcome in eliminating their health problems, you must build a foundational relationship with them. Under the value-based care model, you’d get to spend more time with patients to create such a relationship. Then, they’d end up trusting you more.
5) Allow Diet and Exercise to Become an Alternative to Expensive Insulin
You’ll come across many patients who cannot afford insulin. When they come to you in a panic over this, recommend diet and exercise as an affordable and more effective alternative to expensive insulin. Then, if the patients find themselves in a desperate situation over their insulin costs, they may develop the motivation to stick to a diet and exercise plan to save their own lives.
Learn More About the Holistic Approach to Diabetes Management
Do you want to learn more about how to build relationships with patients and adequately treat their diabetes? Contact Primary Medical Care Center at (305) 751-1500 for more information on how to better help your patients while avoiding the bureaucratic challenges of the fee-for-service care model.