We are in unprecedented times. COVID-19 has affected the way so many businesses operate, even in the medical field. Hospitals and doctor’s offices all over the country are struggling to keep their doors open. Over half of primary care offices have been forced to lay-off or furlough employees. Beyond that, more than a quarter of primary care physicians have forgone their own salaries.
Primary care offices rely heavily on face-to-face visits with their patients, but patients seem to be avoiding their usual check-ups. In a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, the author explains that while most clinics have struggled during coronavirus, there is a small group of membership-based clinics are thriving.
Fee-for-service, where patients (or health insurance) pay individually for each service provided is not the optimal approach for several reasons:
- Patients are less likely to take a proactive approach when they have to pay for each individual service.
- Offices usually charge a high rate for visits and procedures due to insurance reimbursement.
- There is often no opportunity to establish rapport due to sporadic visits and little communication between appointments.
The revenue from a membership model allows for a much higher level of attention. This elevated form of care should include physicians, nurses, nutritionists, personal trainers, and health coaches all working cohesively to provide the patient with exactly what they need. This individualized approach has been turning heads due to the success and personal testimonies of clients and patients. Even the NIH has taken notice. In an article published this month, the NIH announced a new strategic plan to advance nutrition research over the next 10 years. The goal of the research is to provide practitioners with the knowledge and ability to to prescribe a patient what, when, and how to eat based on their current health status and genetics. This precision nutrition model is what many membership-based clinics, functional and integrative medicine physicians, and functional nutritionists have used to be able to help so many individuals who have been unable to find answers or relief in medications or other masking therapies.
The current healthcare model serves its purpose for those who need immediate medical attention for an acute issue. But being truly and fully healthy is a moment-by-moment process that requires ongoing support and guidance. It requires someone who isn’t going to log their hours and charge you hourly for calls you have with them. It requires someone in your corner that you can call, text, or email like you would a friend.
These membership-based programs are gaining in popularity. In order to provide the best care possible, many membership programs, like Tolleson Health Advisors, limits its memberships. Currently, we allow for only 25 spots and have several openings.
Every single day you are faced with several decisions that can either diminish health or optimize it. Who do you have in your corner to support you on a daily basis?