Integrative Patient-Centered Care – Who Cares?

Does it matter to providers if they perform patient-centered care? I would think so… and hope so. I know, as a patient, it matters to me. I want to know that my medical information is being shared and talked with amongst my providers. I want to hear from my provider about new ideas and options for better nutrition, stress relief, intimacy and sleep, not only given another brochure and weblink as they rush to the next patient. I also think it’s important that I understand I’m receiving the best collaborative care and my doctors agree on my treatment and diagnosis. Explain it to me three different ways till I get it. Right??

4 Comments on “Integrative Patient-Centered Care – Who Cares?”

  1. Chris Leet, MD

    Ideally, patient-centered care is what we all strive for. The reality is that over the past 10-12 years, the requirements for software to connect all phases of medical care has been increasingly mandated by the government, requiring large increases in office expense and personnel. At the same time, reimbursement rates have fallen to historically low levels. At present, the most efficient practices find that they are barely keeping up with the cost of doing business. The only way they are able to improve these efficiences is to see more patients in less time. For that reason, most practitioners cannot afford to spend more than the absolute minimum of time to take care of a patient’s main complaint. Issues of a holistic nature are rarely handled adequately for this reason. Physician extenders(NP, PA, etc) can be of help, but the salaries demanded by these personnel(frequently 6 figures) puts a further strain on the office expense. Economies of scale consequently demand larger group practices, further removing the personal touch most patients require and deserve. This is the key problem right now, since it affects the “Gatekeepers”. If the entry into the health care system is compromised in this way, a truly patient centered environment will be a luxury few practices can afford.

    1. qintegrative

      Hi Chris, Yes I agree patient-centered care is the ideal but the constraints of our healthcare payment/reimbursement structure conflict with the need for more quality time with patients that would allow for better understanding the patient’s needs and comprehensive health issues.

      Do you think the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) that do away with fee for service is a better model that promotes health of patients over the number services given that are needed for revenue in a fee for service model?

  2. Stevanie Bennett

    Hello! I love your website and blog. It definitely matters to me that all of my doctors and care specialists know about my entire health profile!

    1. qintegrative

      Hi, I appreciate your comments. Yes I agree, it is essential for providers to have that comprehensive patient understanding where they look at the psychological aspect as well as physical symptoms. If there are underlying psychological issues that could impact a traditional treatment approach then it needs to be understood and integrated into the treatment approach.

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