Face it: Patients today are OK with not seeing a physician when it comes to their care.
Further reading: Should doctors extend their practice hours?
In a recent study by PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI), 75% of patients said they would be comfortable seeing a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant instead of a physician for certain services. Fifty percent said they would see a pharmacist.
Now this doesn’t mean that physicians aren’t valued or needed in the new healthcare consumer dynamic. And I know many of you don’t want to share your workload due to concerns about non-physician provider training (or lack thereof) and the fact that current fee-for-service reimbursement centers on you and your work, not those who complement your care.
But things are changing.
For years, accountable care organizations (ACOs) and patient-centered medical homes have embraced team-based care, making primary care physicians the quarterback of a corps of providers focusing on the patient. And now with the approach of Medicare reimbursement reform focused more on value than volume, the trend is growing. And it’s what your patients want these days: someone to treat all their needs on their schedule.
So it’s time to assemble your primary care “dream team.”
In its recent analysis of 1,500 U.S. physicians and 1,750 patients, HRI found that both consumers and clinicians are ready to embrace broader care teams to improve patient care. And since Medicare and private payers are basing more reimbursement on outcomes, the healthier your patients, the healthier your practice will be financially.