Saving Primary Care

It’s no secret that over the years, primary care providers have been slammed with rate cuts, contract cancellations and fee reductions, all while seeing labor and overhead costs skyrocket. Many primary care physicians are bailing out and finding jobs elsewhere. New medical students are seeking better-paying specialist careers. Nurse practitioners and Physician Assistants are taking up more and more of the slack of primary care. And the family doctor is disappearing.

At WellTrackONE, we believe that it is vital to try to save primary care practices from extinction. One of the objectives of WellTrackONE is to leverage the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit in such a scale that primary care practices can actually realize some of their lost revenue. If we’re successful with this endeavor, those practices will be able to afford to pay their employees, suppliers and their physicians.

It’s not a hard concept. The key is “scale.” Doing “onesey twosey” Annual Wellness Visits won’t cut it. Too many times we have heard physicians say “Well, we’re doing these AWVs already” when in reality they are maybe doing it for 2-4% of their patients. That kind of initiative won’t generate much revenue. Instead, what we do for physicians is provide an end-to-end solution of scheduling, staffing and reporting that takes all the work out of the Annual Wellness Visit program so the physicians can stay on track and just practice medicine. That’s all we want them to do…we don’t want them worrying about calling and scheduling patients every year, screening them over the phone, complying with Medicare requirements, using health risk assessments, generating 5-year plans or giving patients the required Personalized Health Plans. WE do that. We just want the physicians to take care of their patients. We’ll do all the heavy lifting.

If the average physician with 600 active and inactive Medicare patients contracted with WellTrackONE for their patients, she or he would have about 300-400 of them being processed by our system every year. That would drive revenue for the AWVs back into their pockets on a very grand scale. But more importantly, WellTrackONE reports identify risk factors that should be worked up by the physician and their staff. These diagnostic workups and problem-focused care plans will drive much more revenue to the practice. Our experience shows that the average yearly revenue a physician will derive from a WELL-OILED Annual Wellness program is north of $500 per patient. Multiply that out times YOUR patient load and you’ll see what kind of impact a solid AWV program can have on YOUR practice!

Patients will love the attention they get from the Annual Wellness Visit program, too. They’ll get great care, and more importantly, they’ll get that care year after year. The AWVs are free to them and if they have a supplement, they’ll pay nothing for their out of pocket copays. If we can band together and truly make the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit program work, primary care physicians will once again earn enough money to thrive and keep themselves financially healthy. It’s not a big change for them. All they need to do is let the experts (us) come in and put the system in place, and then they just practice medicine. There’s no change in their workflow and no change in the practice’s workflow either. This program can save primary care practices from going out of business – it truly has that kind of potential. But the physicians have to let go of the reins and let the experts do this on a large scale with ALL their Medicare patients.

Bonus: Medicare will reap the rewards of this program. Their costs will go down incrementally because the docs have been taking such great care of their Medicare patients. That means that Medicare will continue to stay in business, and that’s a great deal for everyone in America.

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