As part of our look into how primary care and health systems are adapting during the COVID-19 pandemic, we had the great privilege to sit down (virtually of course!) and talk with Dr. Clint Flanagan, Healthcare Pioneer, CEO, and Founder of Nextera Healthcare. Dr. Flanagan is an influential leader and pioneer of Direct Primary Care (DPC), a model delivering superior value and improved health to individual patients and employers alike. We got the chance to hear from Dr. Flanagan regarding how Nextera and their patients were in a perfect position to thrive in a virtual care world, how they utilize telehealth tools, and the attributes of the DPC Model that strengthen patient-provider relationships in ways that deliver superior health outcomes. Check out more of Dr. Flanagan’s insights in the full interview below.
The gaps in our healthcare system continue to be laid bare during this COVID-19 crisis. Health Leaders Media focuses on two very important gaps in the current telehealth offerings.
- We tend to think of utilizing telehealth to treat patients that have the virus or who may have the virus. For higher risk patients with chronic conditions, this is not enough. They need continued care for their underlying conditions and a way for their providers, extremely busy with COVID-19 patients, to quickly see how their higher risk patients are doing with established care plans and goals.
- As telehealth services rapidly ramp up, providers are being overwhelmed with the sheer volume of virtual visits. These tools must include algorithms and analyses that take patient generated health data and help providers quickly identify patients needing immediate intervention, those who need a physician’s attention, and what more specific action is needed.
We agree and would add that patient engagement solutions should not only be the focus during crisis, but an essential component of daily healthcare practice.
We are continuing our conversation concerning the rapidly evolving role of digital health & primary care capacity during this period of enormous changes unfolding as a result of COVID-19. Today, we are sharing an older and particularly relevant article highlighting an important factor often lost during a crisis like this current pandemic. The oft overlooked factor is the actual relationship between the patient and the providers, how important the relationship is for improving health, especially during times like these where healthcare delivery and access is even more fragmented and transactional given the incredible surges in volume.
In these tense times, Digital Health and Telehealth services can be an integral piece of the puzzle towards keeping people safe and maintaining social distance while allowing patients access to the medical resources they need and giving care providers actionable information about their patients. More and more states are clearing barriers to access for these services as a viable resource for patients in need. We at C3LX support the much needed expansion of Digital Health offerings, and we also believe that these technology solutions need to support continuity of care and patient-provider relationships, not merely transactions where care goals, underlying conditions and pre-existing conditions have to be repeated each time.
A well-known deficiency in our current healthcare system is access to affordable primary care providers that patients know and trust, and who know them. At C3LX, we believe that under our current Covid-19 situation, the statement about “know and trust, and who know them” is of utmost importance. Two issues already presenting during this Covid-19 outbreak are the unnecessary use of the ED by patients lacking affordable primary care access (causing delays for the patients that absolutely need to be in the ED), and the lack of patient knowledge and care continuity when a patient uses a telehealth service that links to a provider who has never worked with the patient before. Digital and telehealth can add much needed capacity for primary care practices, but these technical offerings need to support continuity of care and relationships, not merely transactions where care goals, underlying conditions and pre-existing conditions have to be repeated each time.
Can Direct Primary Care actually eliminate the headaches of insurance while also providing quality care to patients?
Have you heard about the healthcare model referred to as "Direct Primary Care" (DPC)? DPC ensures that patients receive the primary medical care they need without billing insurance. If this sounds unbelievable, let’s take a moment to examine the facts:
Can design thinking improve health care for patients and physicians?
Studies show that 40% of deaths from top chronic diseases are preventable through lifestyle changes. While this is a sobering statistic, it also presents a real opportunity for physicians to help patients improve their health. Behavioral design examines an individual’s learned habits and then helps to implement techniques to influence a change in those habits.
According to the CDC, chronic diseases account for seven of the top ten causes of death in the U.S. and consume 86% of the nation’s annual healthcare spending. The increasing cost and prevalence make chronic disease management one of healthcare’s most challenging priorities. Population health efforts have become critical to identifying and improving chronic disease outcomes through targeted and consistent disease management protocols. Providers have started blending risk stratification models, medical history and sometimes even social determinant data to create targeted care plans. However, if we still don’t actually understand the patient, there is a missing link.