Did you know more than 37 million Americans have diabetes? That is about 10% of the entire population of the country. What’s worse is that roughly 7 million of those people don’t even realize they have diabetes because they lack proper medical care.
Between 2019 and 2020, diabetes-related deaths increased by almost 14% throughout the United States. Insulin demands are higher than ever amongst people with diabetes wanting to prevent premature deaths. Unfortunately, it is difficult for many people on a limited income to get their hands on this life-saving medication because of the high cost.
So what is the solution?
Five Tips to Better Manage Your Diabetes
No one should have to choose between purchasing insulin versus purchasing their next meal. What’s worse is that primary care physicians don’t provide their diabetic patients with the proper education on how to better care for themselves to reverse diabetes. Instead, doctors prescribe expensive insulin medications their patients cannot afford.
As a result, the patients don’t receive any help in stopping their diabetes from progressing. It is no wonder why diabetes-related deaths are skyrocketing across the country. You can attribute these rising deaths to the unfortunate fee-for-service healthcare model that too many doctors operate under in the United States.
The fee-for-service model limits the time that doctors spend with their patients. That is why prescriptions are prioritized over discussions about diet, nutrition, exercise, etc. Furthermore, doctors don’t get the chance to build meaningful and trusting relationships with patients to better understand their problems and challenges.
Primary Medical Care Center operates a value-based care facility that prioritizes reversing a patient’s health problems like diabetes. Here are the top five ways we have helped treat our diabetic patients by practicing under the value-based care model:
1) A Well-Balanced Diet is Critical
A primary care physician must emphasize the importance of a well-balanced diet to their diabetic patients. Even if your patient takes insulin regularly, it will never reverse diabetes if their diet is poor. Quality diabetic treatment means helping patients to reverse their diabetes rather than merely preventing the symptoms from worsening.
For instance, you should recommend a high-fiber diet with foods like mixed vegetables, tuna salad, or potato salad. Since fiber digests slowly in the body, it gives the pancreas more time to manage blood sugar because the absorption of carbohydrates is delayed. Then the body will have enough insulin to regulate the incoming sugars from other foods eaten afterward.
How many of your patients understand how much a well-balanced diet can positively impact their diabetes? If they don’t, you need to go out of your way to educate them before it’s too late.
2) Build Trust with Patient
Patients don’t always follow their doctor’s advice because there is a lack of trust between them. For example, even if you prescribe insulin to control a patient’s symptoms and they can afford to fill the prescription, it doesn’t mean the patient will follow your directions for consuming the medication.
If you operate under the fee-based care model and don’t spend enough time with your patients, they aren’t going to trust you enough to take your advice regarding the medication you prescribe them. As a result, your patients may either not take the medication at all or skip doses.
Spending more time with patients and building their trust is the only way to overcome this problem.
3) Personalized Care Advice
Stop focusing on the best generalized diabetic treatment written on paper, and start focusing on the best treatment for each individual patient’s circumstances. For example, not every patient will stick to a structured diet plan or recommended insulin intake. Some patients even inject themselves with more insulin doses so they can eat more sugary foods.
Therefore, you must understand your patient’s lifestyle habits to treat their needs better and give personalized advice targeting their specific problems and poor lifestyle habits.
4) Have More Discussions with Patients
Spending more time having discussions with patients is the best way to learn about their lifestyle habits and health problems. Then you can provide them with more accurate diagnoses and treatments regarding their diabetes and the symptoms which come from them.
Again, the value-based care model gives you more time to spend with patients to have elaborate discussions about their health and lifestyle habits.
5) Educate Patients About Their Lifestyle Choices
Don’t assume all diabetic patients can afford prescription medication like insulin. Find out if your patients are unable to fill their insulin prescriptions. In those cases, try to recommend a more affordable alternative to traditional insulin prescriptions. Work with patients to devise practical solutions for their given situation to prevent them from getting admitted to the hospital.
These practical solutions should emphasize the importance of diet and exercise. If your patient cannot afford insulin, diet and exercise are even more vital for treating and reversing their diabetes symptoms. Make sure you educate your patients about this so that they take diet and exercise seriously.
Do you want to learn more about how to help your patients manage their diabetes better?
Contact the Primary Medical Care Center at (305) 751-1500 to find out why the value-based care model is the most effective for treating diabetic patients and how you can transform your clinic into a value-based care system too.