If you are reading this blog you may be more astute than the average healthcare consumer. Gaining knowledge about changes in the healthcare system is time well spent. Most individuals over the age of thirty have likely observed rapid changes in the healthcare landscape. Chances are you might remember having a single physician whom you identified as your doctor ( primary care physician, family practice doctor, pediatrician, physician’s assistant, etc.). It is also likely that you saw that provider over a long period of time. This model of having a dependable go to the doctor is rapidly being replaced by the first health care provider available model.
The delivery of primary care medicine has also largely shifted from independently owned, usually smaller, physician practices to much larger corporation owned practices like Franciscan, Multicare, and Kaiser Permanente. This shift to larger primary care offices results in physicians and patients having a much smaller voice in how health care visits are scheduled. In essence, there is more “cared for by the system” than cared for by your doctor method. This unfortunate pattern is often followed with more after hours care by urgent care clinics and emergency rooms as well as typical patterns for specialist referral rather than carefully considered recommendations from your doctor. I am obviously biased about the better health care delivery method. When I use the health care system for myself or my family, I see independent physicians whenever possible. These physicians and their employees are committed directly to their patients, not to their corporations. While the number of independent physician practices has diminished rapidly in recent decades, I am confident those remaining will hold fast to the value of being trustworthy providers. At White River Family Care we cringe at many of the “corporate” impersonal practices and lack of urgency for patient concerns. If we allow our care for you to become just another job where others direct us like sheep, that would be sad for all involved. We pledge our best effort to demonstrate our commitment to your health. If we fall short please remind us.