Physicians no longer need to answer insurance questions or other low-productivity activities because that's all been taken care of prior to the visit. Such pre-visit interactions might involve a social worker, a nurse, a nutritionist, or all three. And with an electronic medical record populated with the latest results, visits with the physician are more productive and offer fresh data for the doctor to review with the patient.
If more people are paying attention to you and your issues, offering real solutions to some of the problems you're experiencing as a patient rather than waiting for the three-month or six-month physician follow-up, aren't you more likely to take an interest in managing your care?
Most of the sources I interviewed for my story feel that's the case. And the early results from their changes in practice are encouraging. Their stories are a reminder that while significant changes need to be made, it's more important than ever for hospitals health systems and physician practices to ensure the message that this is all about better healthcare, is received by the patient, and that it comes through loud and clear.