Value-Based Care Stops the Overmedication of Seniors

Value-Based Care Stops the Overmedication of Seniors

When you visit a primary care physician about a particular health problem, what is their usual solution for it? In most cases, the physician will prescribe you one or more prescription drugs to treat the symptoms of the problem. And if you have more than one medical condition, your doctor could prescribe you as many as five or more medications. That is why many seniors have a whole assortment of prescription drugs they need to take for their different health problems. But is this really a good thing?

The truth is that we have become an overmedicated society, especially amongst seniors. Primary care physicians cannot promise you how these different drugs will interact in your body. All they will do is tell you to stop taking certain medications if you start to develop severe symptoms afterward. But if the symptoms are minor, the physician will pass them off as normal and continue to encourage you to take the drugs.

All of this needs to stop. Too many seniors are facing premature deaths because they are overmedicated. Primary care physicians should do a better job of advising their patients on how to improve their health in other ways that don’t require medication. One of the most effective ways is to make healthier lifestyle changes, such as eating more nutritious foods and exercising each day. This simple formula is the cure for most people’s health problems.

When was the last time your primary care physician ever told you that diet and exercise were the cure for your health problems? Some doctors might suggest it if you ask them, but they won’t go out of their way to tell you to diet and exercise. Instead, their solution for every patient’s problem is a prescription drug.

Why does this happen in the first place? The leading cause of this problem has to do with the fee-based healthcare service model. Primary care physicians are financially incentivized to order tests and write prescriptions to treat patients. However, they have no financial incentive to put patients on a diet and exercise regimen. If they did, you would see much better results after visiting your doctor.

Value-Based Healthcare Improves Patient Care

The value-based healthcare model eliminates the financial incentives for primary care physicians to write prescriptions for treating patients. That doesn’t mean prescriptions never get written for patients. The difference is that the value-based care model incentivizes primary care physicians to monitor the side effects of medications closely. As soon as a patient experiences abnormal side effects from a particular medication, the physician will tell them to stop taking it.

The fee-based healthcare model doesn’t incentivize patient care to this extent. Instead, primary care physicians rely on patients to notify them of any side effects they experience. But sometimes, the side effects are internal and won’t be noticeable to the patient until their condition worsens. Then, the physicians will prescribe more medications instead of recommending lifestyle changes.

A perfect example is with people who have diabetes. A primary care doctor under the fee-based care model will immediately recommend expensive insulin injections to treat the problem on an ongoing basis. But any person with high blood sugar can control the problem by changing their diet. Likewise, any reasonable doctor under a value-based care model will put their patient on a diet and exercise regimen to combat their high blood sugar problem.

Better Communication is the Key

Primary care doctors need to communicate with their patients on a humane and realistic level. If their financial incentive to write prescriptions is eliminated from the equation, patients will get much better medical advice from their doctors. Then patients no longer have to be confused about which medications to take or stress themselves out over the high cost of the medications.


Primary Medical Care Center prefers administering holistic treatments to patients. For example, if you have a blood sugar problem or any health condition caused by your diet, the nutritionists at our facility can put you on a better diet. We have a comprehensive medical staff consisting of primary care doctors, nutritionists, behavioral specialists, physical therapy, acupuncture, and many others who treat patients together holistically.

Our ultimate goal is to reduce the number of medications our patients need as much as possible. Then, if we can help patients establish better lifestyle choices, they won’t have to keep enduring the nasty side effects from being overmedicated. Symptoms like sleepiness, low energy, headaches, and pain will no longer exist. Does this sound like an outcome you would want to have too?

Contact Us 

We want to spend more time with patients to understand the causes of their health problems and then address them fully. The process will take time and patience, but it will produce much better results for their health in the end.

Would you like to make an appointment to visit a primary care doctor at Primary Medical Care Center? Call us at (305) 751-1500 to make an appointment and learn more about our holistic treatment approach under a value-based care model.