Blog Post

doctors, healthcare, insurance, practice

The Stifling of Healthcare

HIPnation, October 7, 2018

Let’s start by defining healthcare. Our simple definition: healthcare is what happens when a patient sits with their doctor, takes their medication, obtains imaging, or undergoes surgery; all with the goal of improving their health and wellness. However, the insurance industry and the regulatory framework has overtaken healthcare. What does this mean and how does it impact the care of patients?

Based on current studies, the average primary care physician has four to five employees, only one of whom engages directly in patient care. The others deal with the insurance and regulatory side of healthcare. These employees add cost without the benefit of improving the health of our patients. To cover this administrative expense, a primary care physician must see 22-30 patients per day. They spend an average of 13 minutes with patients, more than half of which is spent inputting information into the electronic health record. The physician then takes up to 2 hours in the evening catching up on additional clerical work. In this system, physicians only spend about 27% of their time providing clinical care.

Why is This Important?

If most of a primary care physician’s office is focused on meeting the needs of the system, and if the primary care physician spends a majority of their time on non-clinical tasks, then how in the world do we expect this delivery model to provide great healthcare? It’s just not possible. Physicians must rush patients through appointments, barely having time to address medical issues. They have little to no time to truly evaluate the multitude of the socioeconomic and lifestyle factors that impact the wellness of their patients much less help patients deal with or change any of these factors. With the minimal allotment of time, they must now refer the patient to a specialist for any medical issue that takes more than a moment to address. Once the physician finishes the chaos of one day, the next begins soon after. The frustration with the current healthcare scheme is felt by both patients and physicians.

How Do We Fix This?

So how do we fix this for our primary care physicians and their patients? Do we follow the path of the “next generation” of healthcare delivery models built upon the same broken architecture? Do we add more checkboxes to meet more meaningless metrics? Do we make physician offices more expensive by having them hire more people to meet more requirements? Do we have them hire more consultants to understand “new” payment models still based upon the same third-party payment scheme but arranged differently? Do we have them buy new software to meet these edicts? Or do we have them join hospital systems that can take on these added costs because they can charge more for the same level of care (which of course just increases the overall costs without improving quality)?

None of these changes improve healthcare.

At HIPnation, we have separated ourselves from the industry. We remove the burden of insurance and instead directly contract with our patients. In doing so, we are no longer distracted by the noise of the system. Our physicians can focus on the needs of our patients and not the meaningless metrics of the system. We empower primary care physicians to spend more time truly getting to know their patients, more time reading and learning, more time honing their clinical skills, and more time interacting with colleagues (specialists) to coordinate care around you.

We simply make healthcare about healthcare again. At HIPnation, we are a flexible and affordable option for your family. Contact us today to learn more about our services.