Name that Illness By Dr. Ozzie
Do you remember the 1970s-television program “Name that Tune?” The host Tom Kennedy would present panelists like Kathy Lee Gifford with a short description of a tune. Then the panelists would buzz in with a prediction of how fast they could name that tune.
That show reminds me of our healthcare system today. Consumers demand that we use lab tests, radiology and many high-tech diagnostics to “Name that Disease” today. And many payers want us to do it using the fewest resources and get the best results, sort of “I can treat that disease in three insurance claims.”
Despite our advances, the US still lags behind the 10 most industrializednations in health outcomes, overall access to care, efficiency and equitable care, according to the Commonwealth Fund. Today’s patient wants a “label” even if they don’t know how to deal with it or whether it can be even treated or cured. Innovations in medical technology have often led to new tests without sufficient knowledge of the usefulness. The cost of healthcare is a burden across the country today.
Now, with more strain on the system by older, sicker and new users, we need more than ever to develop alternative options. I recommend we put Primary Care Providers - PCP (physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners) in the driver’s seat. This time not alone but with the patient as an active participants, partners and guides.
REUNIONCare is the tool to enable this new “Name that Disease” relationship where the panelist no longer competes against each other but now work as a team. We need to provide health care consumer (and or their caregivers) with more information to be able to assess their “real” needs to distinguish between appropriate and unnecessary care.
REUNIONCare empowers patients, families and caregivers to join doctors and other health professions to create a collaborative care plan. This new plan helps to shape health behaviors and inform patients about the real out of pocket costs of care. Let’s all sing the same song.
Ozzie Ahmed, MD, DrPH, FAAFP
REUNIONCare Chief Medical Officer
Disease Management, Case Management, Care Management, and Care Coordination
A Framework and a Brief Manual for Care Programs and Staff
Professional Case Management Vol. 21, No. 3, 137-146
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