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As health care costs and issues become bigger and bigger, many innovative companies and providers are changing how they do business, by literally turning the healthcare paradigm in our country on its head. Individual doctors, patients, and employers are seeking new ways of providing affordable care at reduced cost and with better results.

The current healthcare paradigm actually encourages more sickness. Not because of any lapse in procedure or questionable new treatments, but because the way health care is paid for is literally in a way that encourages more health issues. Basically, the more often you visit your doctor or provider, the more often they get paid, either by you or, most often, by insurance. So doctors have incentive to schedule multiple appointments, looks for reasons to test for illnesses, etc.

It’s sort of like paying a sports team’s coach for every game lost. The coach, in that scenario, has incentive to cause the team to lose rather than win. It’s counter-intuitive.

Ask any doctor or nurse who the primary responsibility of care falls upon and they’ll say “the patient” without hesitation. This is because 99.9% of healthcare is actually up to the patient, not doctors, nurses, and practitioners. Yet the way the current system is set up, doctors are encouraged to see patients not as people who need advice on their care, but as numbers that equate to billing codes.

An innovative new way of thinking about this paradigm has come around and is shattering orthodox thought. This new paradigm puts patients at the front and rewards healthcare providers for having healthy patients rather than sick ones. Usually called Direct Primary Care (DPC), this method encourages more doctor-patient interaction and rewards (pays) physicians whose patients do not need care beyond preventive measures. It encourages the early detection of problems and quick treatment to stop them before they become serious issues.

Patients and employers are finding that using the DPC model means lower costs and better health.

Larger employers are opting to take this one step further, adding onsite clinics to the workplace. This not only encourages the DPC model, but it also shortens employee off time for medical reasons as it means that they do not have to go far for an appointment for preventive care. Healthcare providers specializing in onsite care are one of the fastest-growing healthcare sectors and about 20% of employers with more than 500 employees are now using them.

These can be permanent onsite facilities for large companies or mobile facilities that visit on set days of the week, many routine appointments don’t require face-to-face at all and can take place via Web camera or telephone.

Employers are seeing health insurance savings of 40% or more with some DPC models showing as high as 80% in savings due to the optimized preventive care.

It may take some time, but this new way of thinking in healthcare is going to catch on, especially as patients begin to realize that they’re people, not sicknesses, and demand more personal care.


  • By Kevin Hauser Submitted on January 16th, 2012

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