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?
In unnecessary bills, every year
Centralizing care, and putting hours back into the day
Before coming to our practice, she would regularly spend half a day on specialist appointments and a small fortune on regular bloodwork screenings.
I’ll let her tell her story:
It was not the healthcare experience I wanted, to be sure.
I came to Dr. Goyal specifically because I wanted someone to manage my care, and have oversight because I knew that each of my specialists was operating in their own ‘bubble.’
The time savings has been so immense.
Most of the time, we can meet over video chat to discuss any concerns I have, so I don’t have to drive to his office every whipstitch. Dr. Goyal coordinates and fills my prescriptions for me, so I don’t need a separate appointment for that. I can have blood drawn right in his office, when that is more convenient for me.
And he coordinates with my specialists. I still have access to them, but I don’t “need” them as much now.
But what still catches me off guard is that working with Dr. Goyal really is like working together as a team. He’ll ask “well what do you think?”
I’d never had a doctor actually ask – and value – my opinion before.
So I know, that when he’s helping me make decisions about my care, he truly understands my values, he knows my story, and he knows my preferences… And I can trust his recommendations when I’m not sure how to proceed.
I share this to show you – there are many ways that the current specialist-centric model is costing people. In safety; in fees; and in time.
And there are just as many ways to “save” by finding a primary care physician who can actually engage with you and your care.
Which membership option is right for you?
No matter what you’re looking for—exclusively primary care needs, added catastrophic care, family or individual memberships, we have an option for you.