Jerry L. Miller, MD, a retired family practice physician and founder and past president of Holston Medical Group, a Kingsport, TN–based private practice with over 150 physicians and specialists, offered his thoughts on non-compliance during his keynote address at the CFO Exchange. He believes the phrase "patient non-compliance" should be eliminated from the healthcare vernacular.
Miller remarked that if patients aren't compliant, there's a reason, and it's a healthcare provider's obligation to find out what it is; understanding a patient's personal and social circumstances is crucial to caring for the patient and will ultimately drive down costs. The solution to this problem lies in the development of an open, co-operative doctor-patient relationship, he said.
Healthcare financial leaders at the CFO Exchange agreed with Miller that tackling patient non-compliance and saving on those costs rests with those on the frontlines and not in the financial back office.
"It's important to create a central organization, one that's high-touch and works with the patients on the frontline to bring the costs down," said Carter. "For us, that means applying for a [Medicare] ACO, and we're looking at bundled payments and risk-based contracting. We also have a number of patient-centered models we're looking at to address this problem."
While many healthcare providers are working with payers and employers to encourage better incentives for patients to participate, non-compliance is likely to remain a vexing problem. CFOs grudgingly agree that patient non-compliance, and its cost, is unlikely to decline any time soon.