Patient Centered Medical Homes
In response to the ever-changing health care mandates, needs and expectations of governmental agencies and consumers, the patient centered medical home (PCMH) has been created and designed to be a more proactive approach to the management of a patient’s health and well being. The PCMH is led by a primary care provider who in turn leads a team of health professionals that pool their resources for the benefit of the patient. The team can be comprised of highly trained medical professionals such as, nurses, pharmacists, case managers, social workers, office staff and other specialists.
Advantages of this type of healthcare delivery are, care that is coordinated and patients having direct access to providers by means of, e-mail, phone calls and texting. Special emphasis is placed on preventative care and good disease management. This is especially helpful for patients who have chronic medical conditions which could lead to increased admissions to the hospital.
Patient Centered Medical Homes are becoming more popular with the Medical Groups to better manage a person’s care and cut down on admissions.
This is a plan that offers more attention, easier access and less wait time for an appointment. Usually there is an annual fee associated with this plan. This is a popular option for those who are very busy and can afford it. Concierge medicine can be provided by a medical or Osteopathic Physician, Chiropractor, Podiatrist and Dentist. Once you have established a history with the concierge practitioner visits can be telephonic or on devices that use Face-Time, Skype or any other comparable product. Concierge medicine comes in all shapes, sizes and cost.
Outpatient Doctors and Visits
In most cases, a visit with the doctor is a brief encounter. The average time with the provider is around ten minutes. This is due to a large daily volume of patients and demands on the providers’ time, such as tending to phone calls, consultations, and patients who are in the hospital. There are ways to get maximum benefit from just a small amount of time. These steps can help during your next visit.
1. When scheduling your appointment, request the first appointment of the day. Now the provider is not behind and can give you a little more time and attention.
2. Have your questions written down beforehand.
3. Some providers allow the use of e-mail to correspond with their patients. This is a quick and convenient way to get basic medical care for simple, non-complicated issues.
4. Calling the office to speak with a physician or provider. It can be used for simple uncomplicated issues that can be handled over the phone and in most cases the provider can call in a prescription to your local pharmacy.
5. When you are at the provider's office during the appointment make sure that you have a solid treatment plan in place prior to leaving.
6. If you feel that your doctor is not giving you the care you expect then you have the right to fire them. Yep, it’s true, you can fire them. Find a doctor that you can be comfortable with. One that will give you the time and attention you deserve and work with you as a partner in health.
7. Before picking a doctor to be you PCP, interview them. Have a list of questions ready. You can even email them to each doctor. There are doctors out there that will take your interview seriously and answer your questions to the best of their ability.
Here are some sample questions for you to consider:
1. What are your normal hours?
2. Are you accessible after hours?
3. Do you use an exchange or voice mail?
4. Do you use mid-level Practitioners to help with your patient load?
5. Are you opening to other forms of treatment such as alternative medicine?
6. Which hospitals do you have privileges?
7. Do you use email to correspond to your patients?
8. Do you accept cash payments?
9. Would you use a sliding scale for payments?
10. What health plans do you accept?
11. Do you have references?
12. How proactive are you in terms of preventative care?
Good health and wellness is not an accident, it must be earned each day of your life. The late Jack La Lane was a prime example of taking control of one’s own health and well being. For most of his life, Jack took control of his health by being careful of what he ate, exercising frequently and living day to day with a healthy mindset. Now, most people might not have the time, energy or motivation to do what Jack has done, but again, good health and well being does not happen accidentally or by luck.
You should ask yourself this question: how important is good health to you? What are you willing to do to stay or become healthy? This book was not intended to be a wellness resource, but keep in mind the cost of being sick versus the benefits of being well. Being sick costs not only money, but time and productivity. Being a patient in the hospital puts your life on hold and can be detrimental to your pocket book. One of the best health insurance plans to have is living as healthy as you can. Yes, it will take work and a bit trying at times, but it will pay off in a very big way. More than ever the information needed to learn how to take charge of your life and stay healthy is more abundant than ever thanks to the internet. Just go to a search engine and type in “ways to stay healthy”. You will be surprised how much information is at your fingertips. Be a student of health and be a life-long learner of ways to strengthen you mind, body and soul. Who knows, you might inspire others to do the same.
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