HealthLinks Charleston Nov/Dec 2022

84 | www. Char l es tonPhys i c i ans . com | www.Hea l thL i nksChar l es ton . com C H A R L E S T ON CO U N T Y M E D I C A L S OC I E T Y SEEING THE VALUE IN VALUE-BASED HEALTH CARE By Theresa Stratford Imagine a world where a team of professionals – rather than just one general practitioner or specialist – makes your overall health their priority. Imagine relying on this team for individualized dietary advice, pharmaceutical management, an exercise regimen and more. Right now, your yearly physicals probably are limited to just 30 or 45 minutes, and that includes checking in and checking your vitals. By the time you see your doctor, there’s barely enough time to get your concerns addressed or a medication refilled. No one has checked to see if you are up to date with screening guidelines such as mammograms and colonoscopies. When the visit is over, both you and your physician are frustrated. This is where value-based health care comes into play, and, in a time when optimal health couldn’t be more critical, it just makes sense. Dr. Justine DeCastro, the new president-elect of the Charleston County Medical Society, conveyed how much she sees the value-based health care concept resonating with her patients, especially with seniors. “It’s going back to how primary care used to be,” she explained. “We are here to help our patients navigate the maze of the health care system. That’s our job.” With value-based health care, providers are incentivized to produce better outcomes for their patients. Say you have been diagnosed with diabetes. Rather than just seeing the doctor who prescribes your insulin, you’ll talk with a dietitian about weight control, a case manager who will advise you on lifestyle changes you should consider and a nurse who consults with you on checking your blood sugar – and you’ll be able to speak with a pharmacist about your medications. The doctor at the helm of all this? That’s your primary care physician, of course. As Dr. DeCastro put it, “You might be paying more for your health and wellness at first, but you will be paying less in the long run since less problems and issues will arise, decreasing the odds of having to get an unexpected emergent procedure somewhere down the road.” She explained that providers will have the time to communicate with each other about your care: “There isn’t any more worry about what medications one of us is prescribing that could interfere with your treatments. We would communicate on that front with each other. It’s like we are working together rather than against each other.” No more wondering either about your medical records being sent to the other doctors you see: “We can all track your progress with electronic medical records that we all share access to.” This quality of care doesn’t just benefit patients. According to Dr. DeCastro, it adds to the quality of life for doctors as well. “Specialists are finally able to do what they are meant to do,” she said. With more positive outcomes, specialists are freed up Dr. Justine DeCastro