One of the biggest fears for a senior with a health condition is having some medical complication that forces a trip to the hospital. Hospitalization, though sometimes necessary, is both expensive and tedious. As such, it is one of the central goals of seniors with health conditions to avoid hospitalization whenever possible. The past few years has seen a downward trend of availability in the primary care workforce. This is a tragedy, seeing as a recent study in The Journal of the American Medical Association shows a correlation with higher levels of primary care and fewer patient deaths and preventable hospitalization. The study does a geographic analysis of various residential pockets in the United States and shows reduced hospitalizations and deaths in areas with higher levels of primary care physicians.
Primary care is foundational to a high-quality, efficient and effective health care delivery system
Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health
The downward trend in primary care is economic in nature. Due to legislative restrictions and private payment policies, primary care physicians simply aren’t able to make as much money as their Medicare-endorsed counterparts. With these elements on the table, there is a demonstrated need for reform in the medical community in order to make primary care more affordable and accessible.
Enter remote monitoring technology
Remote patient monitoring is the future of primary care. Technology that integrates ease-of-use with a reduction of necessary man hours. Constant physical monitoring by an employed physician has proven to be an ineffective model for primary care, mostly due to its inability to remain cost effective. If technological advances can be applied to the situation, primary care physicians would be able to spend less time with individual patients, only interacting when the technology deems it necessary. As noted before, the remote monitoring industry is in an upward spiral, expanding exponentially year by year. By combining this technology with a renewed model of primary care by physicians, the benefits of primary care will be able to be extolled at a reduced cost to the patients.
The correlation between poor medical adherence and increased costs is heavily documented. Primary care has demonstrated the ability to reduce these costs. By implementing medical practice reform spawned by technological advances, a cost-effective solution is on the horizon.