Saturday, June 27, 2009
A remedy for health-care costs?
BusinessWeek has a very interesting article titled, "The family doctor: a remedy for health-care costs?" Will it ease the healthcare burden if we make primary-care physicians the center of America's health system? Perhaps the next question is, "what does it mean to make the PCP the center of the health system?"
This article starts with the line: "The primary-care doctor is gaining new respect in Washington." So many medical students have no interest in primary care. Are they not getting the right type of exposure to the world of primary care? Perhaps they are disillusioned and they don't fail to see the benefits of being a primary care provider (PCP).
Lately, there has been much talk about healthcare reform, electronic health records (EHRs), and the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH). Can the medical home model actually save $67 billion a year? That reflects a 5.6% savings on healthcare costs. IBM's Director of Health-Care Transformation Dr. Paul H. Grundy led IBM to start the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative. I think many people are curious to see how the medical home model will impact healthcare costs in these large corporations. If only 27% of physician practices qualify as a medical home, then what type of impact are we expecting to see?