Physicians have been under so much pressure over the last few decades. Most physicians work over 60 hours per week because their medical facilities are understaffed and overworked.
Much of their schedule gets filled with tasks outside of treating patients, such as supply chain issues, staffing issues, and administrative burdens. Now, with the pandemic added to the mix, it has only made things more hectic for physicians.
It is incredible that doctors have such busy schedules, yet they spend little time with each patient. The reason is that primary care physicians run transactional family medical practices which don’t concentrate on individuals and their specific needs. Instead, these practices only care about booking as many patients as possible in order to make the most money possible from their insurance.
The insurance companies and doctors end up winning in the end, but not the patients. They are still left with inadequate care from doctors who don’t even bother spending enough time to get to know them and the full extent of their problems. But is this really the reason why you got into healthcare? To make money rather than to help patients?
Most people become doctors because they have a desire to help people. But once they get deep working in the healthcare industry, they quickly find that profits are prioritized above people’s health. The sad thing is that many doctors conform to this transactional methodology as time goes on.
However, even if you want to be an honest and ethical family doctor, the current healthcare system makes it very difficult for you to do your job. For example, when a family medical doctor writes a prescription for a patient, their insurance company may not accept the prescription unless a specialist writes it. It doesn’t matter that the family doctor has a medical degree and residency training in their field. Private insurance companies don’t always recognize a family doctor’s expertise in certain areas of medicine, so any relating prescription will be deemed invalid.
So how can a good and honest family medical doctor create a suitable care environment for their patients? Perhaps the Medical Society has forgotten what the meaning of “family medicine” is in the first place. If this is ever going to change, the entire family medical practice community will have to come together and establish relationship-based family practices to turn things around.
Here are three ways to improve the quality of care at family medical practices across America:
1) Provide Universal Primary Care
The United States may be the wealthiest country globally, but that doesn’t mean the American people receive the best-quality healthcare. The transactional nature of our healthcare system allows private insurance companies to dictate whether someone can receive lifesaving treatment. But if a person is uninsured, they won’t have the luxury of getting any lifesaving treatment.
That’s not even the worse of it. When an uninsured person suffers a medical emergency, the doctors in the emergency room will do whatever they can to save the patient’s life and stabilize their condition. But suppose that person had access to universal primary care beforehand. In that case, they could have received a $20 lifesaving medication from a primary care doctor that could have prevented them from ending up in the emergency room.
Therefore, if universal primary care were given to every uninsured American, it would be far cheaper for the government compared to the cost of taxpayer-funded emergency room treatment. Not only that, but it would be better for the patient’s health as well.
2) Extended Insurance Coverage for Telehealth Sessions
The coronavirus pandemic increased the demand for telehealth sessions between doctors and patients. Many health insurance companies provided coverage for telehealth sessions throughout the pandemic. But now that the pandemic restrictions are winding down, more insurance companies are not covering telehealth sessions anymore. We think this is a mistake.
Telehealth gives doctors more time to spend with their patients through a videoconferencing platform. Since patients don’t have to worry about driving to a medical facility and dealing with medical staff, it frees up more time for both the doctors and patients.
So, why should this routine be eliminated just because the pandemic is winding down? Insured telehealth sessions should become the new norm because they are more affordable and convenient for both parties.
3) Capitation Healthcare Payment System
A capitation healthcare payment system would pay primary doctors a specific amount based on how much time the physician association or insurance companies allow them to spend with patients. In other words, this payment system would force doctors to spend a certain amount of time with patients in order to get paid. So, it would give doctors an incentive to focus more on preventative care rather than two-minute sessions with a prescription medication given. It would also stop unnecessary testing, administrative procedures, and other needless practices.
Make an Appointment
Would you like more information about how you can improve your family practice? Please call Primary Medical Care Center at (305) 751-1500 to make an appointment with our elite family medical team.