Perspectives on the Acute Care Continuum

The Acute Care Continuum is the integration of urgent, emergent, inpatient and post-discharge care of patients with acute medical conditions.

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In January, I was told I would have to reschedule my annual check-up because my primary care physician was going on vacation later that month during my previously scheduled appointment. “No problem,” I told the office. “Just give me the next available appointment.” To my surprise, it was in 2016. The experience really drove home to me what millions of Americans go through to access healthcare services.
 
To better serve patients, our healthcare system must evolve. And in addition to boosting quality, improving patient experience and reducing costs, that means removing the barriers that delay and prevent care in the first place. Read More...
2/26/2015 2:21:52 PM | 0 comments

There are close to a quarter million primary care physicians in the U.S., more than any other individual specialty and about half the total number of all specialists combined.
 
Yet somehow, primary care seems to lack the power and social influence necessary to chart its own professional course. As the availability and granularity of specialist physicians increased, the value proposition of a generalist primary care doctor seems to have become unclear to those who pay for medical services — and to physicians as well. As a result, primary care medicine was forced to price itself lower than specialized medicine and now it is being forced to compete with a variety of other business models.  Read More...
2/24/2015 10:46:25 AM | 1 comments

As long-time hospitalist, I have a vision that one day, our specialty will be the "brains" of the hospital, the preeminent driver of acute care quality. As practitioners of internal medicine, hospitalists have a holistic understanding of the human body. And as hospital-based practitioners, we know the processes, pathways and relationships that keep acute care moving forward.
 
But as a new specialty, we have a lot to prove. If we don't add value and deliver great care, we're going to be looked upon as interns, not internists. The onus is on us to step up and earn the respect of colleagues and administrators. Read More...
2/19/2015 6:13:39 AM | 1 comments

When Humana canceled my long-standing health plan in November 2014, I wanted to make a responsible choice as a consumer. I wanted to be a good steward of our healthcare resources. I wanted to support innovative coverage models that offered hope for lasting change.
 
Yes, I also wanted reasonable premiums. But I sincerely wanted the other stuff too. Read More...
2/17/2015 1:20:28 PM | 0 comments

​You'll never find a bigger supporter of healthcare reform than me. My dad had a heart attack — while uninsured. My mom had chemotherapy — while uninsured. When my mom was able to enroll in an exchange plan in fall of 2013, our family breathed a monumental sigh of relief.
 
A year later, my mom lost her part-time retail job. From a healthcare point of view, this shouldn't have been a big deal. She was insured through the federal exchange, not her job.
 
Unfortunately, the insurance company didn't see her that way. They informed her that because of her decreased income, she was no longer eligible for an exchange plan. To stay on the exchange in 2015, she would first have to apply to Medicaid — and be denied. Read More...
2/12/2015 5:54:56 PM | 1 comments
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