Team-Based Care Saves Money?

Multicolored vector illustration.

I have ripped on the Patient-Centered Medical Home crap over and over in this blog. I just love it when articles come out as propaganda for big corporations. For example, listen to this:

“The patient-centered medical home is a key foundation to how we’re building our programs and looking at how our programs are going to continue our move towards value-based reimbursement,” according to Amy McKenzie, MD, MBA, of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

I really don’t what Amy even just said. They are just jumbled words to me. Then the article goes to say this:

And she should know. BCBSM, where McKenzie serves as the medical director, has an expansive patient-centered medical home model. Since implementing the program in 2008, BCBSM has designated nearly 4,700 physicians as a part of a patient-centered medical home.

The program, which represents the largest statewide PCMH in the nation, has higher rates of preventive care and lower rates of emergency department utilization than other healthcare delivery models. As a result, it boasts $626 million in prevented claims costs in just a nine-year window.

The rest of the article continues to paint fairy tales with pixie dust. But let’s just look at these numbers. It prevented $626 million in 9 years. That is about $70 million a year (if you can believe their stats, which I never do). If you take that number and divide it by 4700 physicians then you save $15,000 a year. That’s it!!! How much did it cost to implement this crap? How much burnout did it cause? You don’t know because they don’t say.

This is why this blog still exists. To point out bullshit like this. You’re welcome.

Join 3,552 other subscribers

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  2 comments for “Team-Based Care Saves Money?

  1. JRDO
    October 14, 2019 at 9:48 am

    You are missing the point.
    BCBSM isn’t in business to help physicians or patients.
    They are in business to help themselves.
    Amy probably gets paid well to manage this bullshit.
    It makes cents (sic) from her point of view.

  2. R Stuart
    October 14, 2019 at 9:06 am

    ‘ “The primary care physician is serving as the hub or the coach or the quarterback who runs all those processes of care to make sure that patient care is coordinated,” McKenzie said.’

    Translation: glorified scut monkey.

    Good studies show that the so-called PCMH costs north of 100k per physicians per year. But that all comes out of the doc’s pocket, so it’s a win for BCBSM.

Comments are closed.