Primary care in the US is badly broken. Physicians complain they are like hamsters on a wheel, trying to generate enough fee-for-service revenue to pay the bills. That leads to short appointments, less follow-up, and dissatisfaction on the part of physicians and patients. It’s no wonder that not a lot of medical students are intent on entering primary care.
A number of attempts are being made to address the concern. Some physicians have started “concierge” practices that charge a fee on top of insurance payments. Others have affiliated with or sold their practices to larger health care systems, which subsidize primary care in order to bring in profitable referrals for imaging, surgery, etc. There is also a shift toward different payment models such as capitation, Promtheus, and the Patient Centered Medical Home.
Qliance Medical Management, Inc. has a different approach, which it calls “direct primary care medical homes.” These practices charge a monthly subscription fee for unlimited access to comprehensive primary, preventive and chronic management care. I really like the concept and its focus on the patient as the primary customer and user of the service. The company claims its approach can reduce overall health care costs by over half. If true, this could be the wave of the future.
In this podcast interview with Dr. Garrison Bliss, co-founder and chief medical officer of Qliance, we discuss the details.December 17, 2009