Americans are always looking for a quick fix to their problems, such as swallowing one pill per day to lose weight. Wouldn’t it be nice if life was that easy?
The Camden Coalition was supposed to be the quick fix for helping people with frequent health issues and hospital readmissions. Since readmissions are expensive for the patients and hospitals, the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers had an idea to stop readmissions by assigning patients to qualified social workers and nurses. It is kind of like a buddy system of support for the patients.
Unfortunately, the New England Journal of Medicine presented a contradictory study showing that this buddy system approach doesn’t help much. Patients are still just as likely to return to the hospital regardless of how much extra support they receive. How is this possible?
The Camden Coalition is trying to do something about the high cost of medical care in the United States. But it seems like they continue to struggle to make any progress in this endeavor. Perhaps their slow progress has something to do with the behavior of primary care physicians and their influences on the system in general.
How to Make Primary Care Physicians More Successful at Stopping Readmissions
Primary care physicians must have accountability to improve their patients’ health and wellness. But if you are still operating a fee-based healthcare facility, you don’t have accountability right now. Instead, your primary focus is getting patients to come through your doors as often as possible to collect their insurance payments. Meanwhile, there is no incentive to resolve their underlying health problems.
If you want to become a better primary care physician who cures your patients’ problems, you need to switch to a value-based model to have accountability. However, this can be difficult because primary care physicians have never been trained to focus on patient outcomes.
As a result, doctors don’t know the importance of earning their patients’ trust in order to influence them to make better lifestyle choices. Doctors with no accountability won’t care whether their patients trust them. But you don’t have to become a doctor like this, even if you don’t have the training to be a value-based doctor.
All that matters is caring about your patients and teaching them about nutrition, exercise, lifestyle modifications, and dealing with various economic and social factors influencing their actions. You don’t need specialized training to become an ethical doctor who values their patients’ health over fees and profits. On the other hand, if you want to be the strongest doctor possible for your patients, you could take extra training courses on economics and social factors.
Besides, the value-based healthcare model rewards doctors for successfully treating patients and keeping them from returning to their office again.
The Best Time to Intervene
Don’t expect it to be easy to change a patient’s health and lifestyle habits. You may attempt a clinical intervention to address a particular health problem of a patient, but it may not be that simple. So many factors go into a patient’s holistic care, including food, housing, education, environmental conditions, etc. You don’t have control over these particular factors.
Therefore, the challenge is knowing when to intervene at the right time. Hot spotting is an old-fashioned practice where patients are treated by various doctors, specialists, social service providers, and other caregivers to prevent readmissions to hospitals. This practice used to be the preferred way to intervene because the patient had many caregivers working to address their problems.
But now, hot spotting is getting a modification of its own. The newest hot spotting programs work to identify which interventions would help patients the most. That way, the patients receive help from medical professionals addressing their real problems. There aren’t any wasted resources from an abundance of medical professionals who may or may not be of good use to the patient.
Make sure you don’t want too long to intervene. It doesn’t make sense to help patients after readmission. The idea is to apply the right preventative interventions before readmission. If you have identified your patients’ risk factors and current health issues, you know which interventions can help them best. Focus on these interventions early, and your patients should experience positive results from your value-based care.
Primary Medical Care Center has spent decades improving our patient care system. Our value-based model has been very successful in transforming the health and wellness of our patients for the better. All our primary care physicians have become experts in choosing the best interventions and applying them at the correct times.
Would you like to learn more about the Camden Coalition and how it can prevent hospital readmissions? Our primary care physicians can teach you how to prevent your own patients from getting readmitted to expensive hospitals by applying the same methods we use.
Contact us at (305) 751-1500 to get started.