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5 ways to give the ER the cold shoulder this winter
- Family Medicine
- Urgent Care
August 29, 2019
This year, Revere Health celebrated its 50th birthday. Not only was this a celebration of Revere Health’s doctors, staff and patients but also a celebration of how far healthcare has come in Utah during that time. According to America’s Health Rankings, published by the United Health Foundation, Utah was the fifth healthiest state in 2018. This ranking is, in part, evidence of a shift toward patient autonomy, preventive care and advances in medical technology.
The bioethics movement of the 1960s and early 1970s emphasized patient autonomy and the right to transparent information from healthcare providers. Over the last 50 years, Revere Health has made several efforts to increase transparency, including the adoption of an online patient portal back in 2010. These portals give patients 24/7 access to their health information, allowing them to request prescription refills, view appointment notes, communicate with their providers, review lab results and more. Revere Health was also one of the first healthcare systems in the state to publish a pricing transparency page on its website, which lets patients search price estimates for common procedures and services.
Another step that healthcare has taken toward patient autonomy is patient-centered care. For decades, the medical community has been very provider-centric, where providers didn’t involve patients as much in the healthcare decision-making process. Access to care, including hours of clinical availability, has also long been centered around when providers wanted to work. Today Revere Health focuses on involving every patient in his or her healthcare decisions, addressing their specific needs and taking into consideration their desired outcomes for health. It also means that providers not only treat their patients medically but also emotionally, mentally, socially and financially. Finally, it means providing better access to care, such as opening up more same-day appointments, extending clinical hours to early mornings, evenings, weekends and holidays, and creating urgent care access points to prevent unnecessary emergency room visits whenever possible.
Before the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was passed in 2010, many insurance providers did not cover routine screenings and preventive care. Now, insurers are required to cover most preventive care services in full. Since then, preventive care has become an increasingly critical focus in modern healthcare—a change from what has long been a “rescue care” model where patients wait until they’re already sick to see the doctor. Preventive care is important because it can help prevent or delay the onset of chronic disease as well as lower the risks and costs of treating those diseases. Having an annual preventive exam where issues can be identified, diagnosed and treated early, for example, is much more cost-effective than going to the ER or being hospitalized to address those same conditions after they have advanced.
In the last 50 years, healthcare technology has radically changed. Surgeries, for example, have become easier and require less recovery time thanks to the introduction of arthroscopic procedures that use high-resolution cameras, eliminating the need for large incisions. Technology has also improved healthcare communications. For example, hospitals and providers can now share medical records electronically, and Revere Health was one of the first clinics in the state of Utah to share information with statewide databases like the Clinical Health Information Exchange (cHIE). Revere Health’s advancements in electronic health records were recognized back in 2004 when Revere Health was named “Clinic of the Year” by the Microsoft Healthcare Users Group.
An Emphasis on Value
In 1960, people in the U.S. spent an average of $164 on their healthcare. In 2017, that grew to nearly $11,000. If healthcare spending continues at this rate, 100% of all U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) will be spent on healthcare in about 25 years. Revere Health recognizes that this healthcare spending trend is not sustainable and made the shift to value-based care. Value-based care is a system of medicine that focuses on outcomes instead of volume of care; ensuring that patients are getting the right care, in the right place and at the right time. Value-based care isn’t a phase or a fad, it’s where the healthcare industry is heading and it’s the future of medicine. Revere Health’s value-based care efforts have resulted in over $30 million in savings in the last three years alone for our Medicare patients—all while maintaining consistently high quality scores.
The Next 50 Years
As healthcare continues to change and evolve, we believe it is our responsibility to improve the quality of care patients receive, increase access to healthcare services and reduce unnecessary healthcare spending. Through value-based care, we are confident that we will continue to do just that for many years to come.
Revere Health is the largest independent multispecialty physician group in Utah and employs more than 200 physicians and 190 advanced practitioners. Founded in 1969, Revere Health has grown to include more than 100 clinics in both urban and rural areas throughout Utah and Nevada. Revere Health providers offer complete healthcare at every stage of life with multiple family practice locations and 30 medical specialties. As the first Accountable Care Organization accredited by Medicare in Utah, Revere Health is a leader in value-based care, which focuses on improving scientific measurements of health outcomes and lowering overall costs care. Revere Health takes a unique, patient-oriented approach to healthcare.
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