Chronic Disease Management
In the U.S., approximately 50% of the adult population has at least one chronic disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, allergies, asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), arthritis, or irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, a significant percentage of healthcare spending can be attributed to these illnesses. One reason the costs are so high is that many patients face barriers that force them to drop out of their chronic disease management programs, setting them up for complications or worsening symptoms later in life.
The Skyrocketing Cost of Medication
One of the most common barriers to chronic disease management is the rising cost of drugs. Medication adherence is often a core component of chronic disease management – patients who do not take their prescribed drugs as directed cannot effectively manage their symptoms or work toward better health. Unfortunately, many patients are paying more for their prescriptions than they did one year ago, and some are not filling their prescriptions due to the cost.
Direct Primary Care Benefits Patients With Chronic Health Conditions
Direct primary care (DPC) is an alternative to the traditional primary healthcare model that is gaining popularity. In exchange for a set monthly membership fee, DPC patients have access to round-the-clock primary healthcare services, including chronic disease management and free generic prescriptions from the office formulary. Patients can benefit from same-day and next-day office visits; telemedicine consultations via voice, videoconferencing, and SMS text; and unrushed appointments with their doctor as needed. By opting out of insurance contracts and eliminating the need for the associated claims-processing personnel, a DPC practice is able to focus its resources more fully on patient care – where they belong.
With regard to how DPC compares to the conventional healthcare system in terms of access to care and treatment for patients with chronic health conditions, the conventional system’s insurance demands and limited patient interaction make it difficult for doctors to practice to their full capabilities. A DPC doctor, on the other hand, is able to provide much more high-touch and timely care.
If you’d like to talk with a DPC doctor about chronic disease management, contact Optimum Direct Care to schedule a meet-up with our board-certified family practice physician, Dr. Toni “Muzzi” Muzzonigro, at our office in Orlando, FL, today.