The Holter monitor specialists at Medicomp have noted that in a comparison of the United States to many other developed countries, fault is often indicated by the amount of money Americans spend on health care. The discrepancy was generally given to the number of Americans who visited specialists compared to primary care physicians. However, recent information given in the Journal of the American Medical Association proves otherwise. Comparing the percentage of primary care physicians in the United States to 11 other countries, the same mean (43%) is noted, which shifts the blame to another factor — cost.
Although the United States leads the pack of industrialized countries in the sheer number of total knee replacements and MRI scans, it also falls short of average in several other categories. As a matter of fact, services and the number of services given to patients are considered typical when compared to other countries. Why then are Americans throttled with exorbitant health care costs?
The reforms offered in the past — increasing the number of primary care physicians or decreasing the number of health care visits — simply will not improve America’s standing worldwide. Rather, the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC) has petitioned the government to reform Medicare’s payment system by offering better delivery of services while accelerating provider payment. This value-driven payment program sharply negates the current fee-for-service (FFS) payments by awarding physicians for quality of care and patient outcomes rather than quantities of elaborate procedures and tests.
This new model could possibly include money allocated to home-care, transportation, telehealth, behavioral health, and social services, which have not traditionally been covered by FFS Medicare. Primary care is likewise key to this new plan: American patients generally spend 4-8% of healthcare dollars on primary care. Considering that primary care can prevent hospital readmissions, emergency room visits, and other health care costs, approaching health care from a different angle may prove highly beneficial.
To balance the equation of offering quality of service and affordability, beneficiaries must be protected. The NCHC believes these protections must include “…preserving beneficiaries’ freedom to seek care from outside the practice, maintaining protections against balanced billing practices, and establishing strong guidelines so providers in at-risk and capitated models build the capacity to provide more holistic care to patients.” The combined knowledge of patients, physicians, hospitals, medical boards, government entities, and many other health-care stakeholders may successfully be able to turn our current health-care system into a more coalesced, easy-to-use system truly based on quality of care.
Medicomp is a forerunner in preventive patient care with its state-of-the-art TelePatch® and other Holter monitor systems that help patients and physicians capture data immediately and save patient lives. Learn how your practice can benefit from Medicomp’s decades of research and technical expertise. Call our team today at 800-23-HEART and look.