If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably experienced long wait times to receive medical care at some point. The average wait time at some primary care offices is nearly half an hour, and waits of two hours or more at emergency rooms is common.
Besides being inconvenient, frustrating and inefficient, such long wait times can have a detrimental effect on patient health as well.
That’s why the value-based care model of health care is such a welcome improvement. When a primary care physician is focused on providing the best care, not the most care, patient health outcomes are measurably improved.
How Are Value-Based Care Physicians Different?
Value-based care physicians operate a little differently than you may be used to.
Instead of trying to see as many patients as possible in a “fee-for-service” model, value-based care doctors treat fewer patients and are compensated based on their patient’s health outcomes. In other words, the doctors are paid based on the value they provide to their patients. It is a patient-centered model of care.
What Are the Benefits of a Value-Based Care Model?
With value-based care, doctors are able to provide more personalized attention to fewer patients. Naturally, patients in value-based primary care practices experience improved satisfaction. More importantly, they are more likely to experience improved health outcomes and better relationships with their doctors. When patients and doctors have a stronger relationship, doctors are better able to detect and treat illness early, with better prognoses.
Another benefit of value-based care is the possible reduction in costs by controlling disease before it progresses, resulting in expensive hospital stays and other reactive measures. This reduction in costs is another component of the value that these physicians provide.
Other important elements of value-based care include:
- Longer appointments
- More facetime with your doctor
- More convenient scheduling
- Stronger relationships with the care staff
- Better and more frequent preventative care
- Shorter office wait times
Why Shorter Wait Times Make For Better Health Care
Shorter wait times are an appealing bonus of the value-based care model. In fact, many value-based care providers aim for a wait of just five minutes, and it’s often less.
This means that you no longer need to sit in a crowded room filled with other sick patients, exposing you to illness and disease for long amounts of time.
It also means that you don’t have to sacrifice your time waiting around, hoping to be seen. Traveling to the doctor’s office can be inconvenient and time-consuming, and then if your doctor is running behind, it can affect your whole day — not to mention the day of the friends and family who are looking out for your care or providing transportation.
When you don’t have to worry about long waits at the doctor’s office, it’s easier to schedule care when you need it. You don’t have to postpone important health care appointments because of the wait time. This keeps your health on track.
In fact, some value-based care doctors won’t make you come to the doctor’s office at all. You can choose to receive some or all of your primary care at home, in comfort and privacy. Telehealth and video calls make it easy to talk to your doctor without making a special trip. And some doctors have even begun to offer in-home primary care — the “house call” of the modern age.
How to Choose a New Primary Care Doctor
If shorter wait times at the doctor’s office sounds appealing, it’s time to switch your primary care doctor. Use our convenient Find a Doctor tool to search for new primary care doctors near you. You can also request one of our Patient Care Advocates, who will help you search for the right provider to meet your needs.
Don’t hesitate to get the care you deserve. We can help.