What is Advanced Primary Care?
If you’ve ever competed in a game of charades, you know how frustrating it can be to solve even the simplest of concepts portrayed by other players. Now, imagine you’re playing the healthcare version and drew a card asking you to explain advanced primary care. If you struggle to come up with a definition, you’re not alone.
Emerging as a commonly used buzzword in healthcare today, advanced primary care is not an entirely new concept but an evolution of an industry term historically referred to as the patient-centered medical home. The medical home serves as the foundation of advanced primary care. However, advanced primary care also includes additional components not reflected in the medical home model of care, providing a richer and more robust health experience.
Read on for a better understanding of what advanced primary care is and how this integrated, proactive, and data-driven approach to primary care differs from the patient-centered medical home.
What is advanced primary care?
Advanced primary care is an integrated healthcare model that combines comprehensive in-person care and digital care for patients anytime and anywhere. The ultimate goal is to enhance the patient’s experience, lower costs, and improve health outcomes. Broken down further, this approach includes the following features:
- Accessible: Convenient locations, same-day appointments, and 24/7 digital care mean patients have access to the care they need, when they need it. There are no financial barriers to primary care.
- Patient-Centered: Less time in the waiting room and more time with providers allows patients to develop long-term relationships with their care team. Patients receive care that accounts for their unique needs, experiences, strengths, challenges, and environment.
- Value-Driven: Payment methods prioritize health outcomes, not the volume of services provided.
- Team-Based: Care providers have the clinical and organizational infrastructure in place to deliver collaborative, team-based care.
- Outcomes-Based: Care providers can effectively impact population health. They have access to information on patient risks and can take a systemic approach to closing gaps in care.
- Mind and Body: Healthcare experience considers not only patients’ physical health, but also their behavioral health.
- Continuous: Patients are engaged between visits. Any necessary referrals are made to high-value specialists and remain connected to the patient to ensure coordinated, continuous care.
How is advanced primary care different than a patient-centered medical home?
Advanced primary care can’t be defined without first defining the medical home, as there are more similarities than differences between the two.
Both the medical home and advanced primary care prioritize high-quality care, where patients feel valued as human beings with unique needs and are supported by a care team who works to see improved outcomes.
Providers operating under both models of care take a team-based approach with the goal of meeting people where they are, providing the right care at the right time. Growing relationships between patients and providers and empowering patients to have a voice in their care are key components for success. Other areas of overlap include a focus on accessibility, comprehensiveness, quality, continuity of care, and team-based collaboration.
So, how are they different? Advanced primary care also includes:
- Digital access: Increased access to virtual visits and digital care makes care even more convenient for patients.
- Better use of data: A greater emphasis on data analytics and technology empowers providers to manage overall population health.
- Realigned payment models: Financial incentives encourage providers to focus on patient health improvement and cost savings, including high-value referrals.
- Emphasis on behavioral health: Behavioral health is fully integrated into primary care, prioritizing optimal health outcomes for all.
Advanced primary care models also may include pharmacy services, which can further enhance patient outcomes because of increased medication access and adherence.
It’s time to end the vicious cycle that so many employers and health plans alike face: rising costs coupled with poor health outcomes. Premise is here to end the charade. Pioneering the direct healthcare industry for nearly 60 years, we understand the challenges you face and are here to make healthcare work for you and your members. Our advanced primary care approach combines barrier-free access, best-in-class technology, and behavioral health to lower costs and improve health outcomes.
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