The Return of the Primary Care Doctor Is Not What You Think
True enough – That’s exactly how our current healthcare system operates.
So they’re happy to give you a referral and let the endocrinologist “do that.“
Or a cardiologist.
Along the way, you acquire a Rolodex full of specialists, all operating independently and treating their “piece” of the body.
“It’s no secret in the medical community that medical errors are the leading cause of death – just behind heart disease and cancer.”
The “specialist circus” creates a hodgepodge of services where the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.
There is no longer a hub – a single doctor who is managing the full picture.
At worst, this can lead to life-threatening mistakes when prescriptions interact or medical histories are missed or misinterpreted.
At best? This leads to an incredibly expensive (and wasteful) care model.
No matter how you look at it, a rushed primary doctor is the most expensive entity in healthcare.
The truth is, most things can, be handled by a primary care physician.
They just don’t have the time.
This is a systemic problem in the current fee for service model: a typical primary care physician doesn’t have time to work through the problem with you, educate you, and help you understand how that issue ties into your overall health.
But without your primary care doctor fully engaged, no one is looking at a patient’s “big picture.”
The Return of Primary Care
One of the biggest questions I get asked when people consider joining my practice is: “Ok, but what about all of my specialists?”
When we do need to call in a specialist?
Let’s understand what’s really going on.
Why their treatment plan is the way it is.
What are the things that we really need the specialist for?
Once we start educating them, they realize “okay, I can manage these issues with you and I can get all my prescription refills from you…. I don’t need to drive across town for routine items like this.”
Their specialist roster starts to shrink, often times their prescription list starts to shrink, their quality of care goes up, and most of the time – their costs go down.
Saving thousands in out-of-pocket healthcare costs
- Do you know why your cardiologist is ordering EKG’s and stress tests for you every year?
- Do you think you need them?
- Is this changing in any way how you manage your health?
- What do you do differently after your cardiologist visit?