New Deloitte Center for Health Solutions study outlines plan to help primary care doctors better manage chronic illnesses, coordinate care
WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Primary care physicians should exert broader control in managing their patients' chronic diseases and be compensated accordingly for their enhanced role in overall care coordination, a new study from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions (http://www.deloitte.com/centerforhealthsolutions) concludes.
In its study, "The Medical Home: Disruptive Innovation for a New Primary Care Model,"(http://www.deloitte.com/us/medicalhome) the Center outlines a course of comprehensive patient management, starting with primary care doctors and allied professionals providing a range of diagnostic and therapeutic services to improve care coordination.
Medical home is a health care management model in which the primary health care physician serves as a "health coach" for patients, serving as an advocate for patients, and are paid to deliver a higher level of care coordination. The model predicts a reduction in unnecessary tests and hospital visits, and the Center report details potential savings and implications for policy makers and key industry stakeholders.
"Given the clear correlation between runaway health care costs and lack of attention to chronic care, policy makers must think seriously about the medical home as a solution," said Dr. Paul Keckley, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. "It's a logical approach to a persistent problem in U.S. health care."
The objective is to provide patients with a more attentive channel of health care - preventative and acute - over time, while streamlining patient care by leveraging information technology. Expanding the oversight and treatment role of primary care physicians could mean short-term financial pain for hospitals and some health plans, and could aggravate the current manpower shortage without broadening the scope of ancillary providers' practice.
But the Center report, co-authored by Dr. Keckley and Dr. Howard R. Underwood of the Center, found that the long-range benefit is clear.
Pressure to adopt a medical home approach is driven by two critical, inter-connected factors - the shrinking number of primary care doctors due to difficult practice conditions and insufficient compensation, and the growing incidence/prevalence of chronic disease among the American population.
There is widespread recognition that the U.S. health care system falls short in its efforts to effectively manage chronic conditions, with some studies reporting care is sufficient only 55 percent of the time. Today, 45 percent of the population has a chronic medical condition. Among the Medicare population the statistics are even worse: 83 percent have at least one chronic condition and almost a quarter have at least five co-morbidities.
Full Report: The Medical Home - Disruptive Innovation for a New Primary Care Model: http://www.deloitte.com/us/medicalhome
Overview: Deloitte Center for Health Solutions: http://www.deloitte.com/centerforhealthsolutions
Bio: Dr. Paul Keckley: http://www.deloitte.com/us/PaulKeckley
As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte & Touche USA LLP. Please see http://www.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte & Touche USA LLP and its subsidiaries.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved