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Launching a Core Strategy: Strengthening Primary Care

Doctors and Nurses

Being trained in family medicine and working as a primary care doctor is a privilege. One of my mentors, Dr. Marc Babitz, used to say, “Family physicians can take care of 90 percent of what walks through the door, and we know what to do with the other 10 percent.” Making sure excellent care is delivered, documented, reimbursed and that patients get a satisfying medical home requires you to have a team behind you.

Since our inception, HealthInsight has been committed to understanding and impacting levers for better quality in health care. We recognize our primary care delivery system as critical for delivering the best health care. We are committed that practices of all sizes develop an agile, team-based delivery model that maximizes outcomes and ensures staff satisfaction while it sustains revenues. That’s why we’re launching our core strategy of Strengthening Primary Care.

For me, the primary care office is a special place. It’s a “Grand Central Station” of information exchange, calls, electronic requests and patient visits. For family docs, the best feeling is a day when your team is there, beside you (physically or virtually), ready to go. As a team you’ve prepped charts to be ready to meet patient needs and update health maintenance, triaged messages to see who needs you, and made sure follow-ups from the previous day are complete. A skilled team takes tasks off your plate, and you shift to focus on the patient or family in front of you. A bonus for the team is when a well-trained assistant (medical assistant, nurse, health educator, community health worker) “makes the difference” in listening to a patient or family member for what the real issue is or troubleshooting a referral or prescription, and both the doc and the assistant experience trust and satisfaction of a job well done – as a team.

Supporting the training and development of a supportive workforce is the best medicine for today’s primary care. And ensuring offices can harness new payment opportunities allows for adding that staff and supporting that training. Substantive new Medicare payments for primary care services have become available in recent years. Through our core strategy of Strengthening Primary Care, HealthInsight will support clinics to adapt their business, service and staffing models to take advantage of these opportunities.

Strengthening Primary Care recognizes primary care structure (business, service and staffing models) as a leverage point for success across a broad range of clinical topics. We’ve developed expertise, materials and training on these core goals:

  • Increase the provision of underused, high-value services in primary care using the Medicare annual wellness visit, chronic care management, transitional care management and advance care planning.
  • Increase primary care clinical staffing to support population health delivery and reduce provider burden and burnout.
  • Support ongoing process improvement and professional development for providers and other clinical staff.
  • Ensure complete and accurate billing for primary care wellness, preventive and care coordination services.

Our core strategy is designed to advance provider goals as it advances quality performance and health system improvement goals. Look for opportunities to work with us at healthinsight.org/outpatient-clinicians/strengthening-primary-care.

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