More Efficiency

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Read this article and see how they recommend isolating your high-risk patients (aka most sick) and spending most of your time on them.  The way the article is written it almost sounds like they have found the Holy Grail to being a doctor.  Isn’t that great?  Here is another hidden gem.  See how there is a reference about Henry Ford right at the top?  You know him.  He’s the guy that created the assembly line and mass production.  Coincidence?  I think not.

So what’s the plan for these assembly line docs? Well, first identify your “highest risk for hospitalization, ER visits and high-cost care, and then pour dedicated practice resources into the care of those patients.”  And the biggest part of that dedication is time.  Your time.  The article describes how running a huge team where you are the wizard behind the curtain may be one way to get these people under control.  It also may be a way to get Medicare to pay you a chronic care-management fee. All you have to do is:

  • Assign each patient to a “resource use category” labeled low, moderate, high or extremely high. Within those four categories are six specific risk levels. When patients are identified as high risk, the level of health care services provided to them escalates.
  • “We put more resources toward those patients, increase the number of support staff around them and give their physicians longer appointment times,” said Clark.
  • Patients assigned risk levels of four, five or six automatically are slotted for 30-minute appointments, double that of lower-risk patients.
  • The next big step is examining practice data for hard evidence that shows risk stratification is improving patient outcomes and lowering costs. Clark is looking forward to bringing a nurse care coordinator onboard to manage the highest-risk patients.

I have made claims that we are in an era of industrialized medicine.  This proves it. Remember the Pareto Principle and see how this is similar.  The goal is to spend 80% of your time on toughest 20% at the EXPENSE of your other 80% of patients.  Who takes care of the other 80%? Why do they have to lose out just because they are not sick enough yet?  And we wonder why patients complain that their doctors don’t spend enough time with them.

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