By: Katelyn Bush
Feeling 'Under the Weather?'
It’s that time of year again! There’s a pleasant chill in the air, cardigans are back in style, and cafes are filling their displays with pumpkin spice-flavored treats. After a scorching hot summer, it's no surprise we're looking forward to the cooler autumn weather. However, while fall certainly has its perks, it can also present challenges for businesses and their employees. As the temperature drops, so does our ability to ward off illnesses like the flu and the common cold. Worse still, COVID-19 cases are on the rise (again), making it all the more important for employees to prioritize their health.
Unfortunately, those hoping to stay healthy this season may encounter difficulties securing timely, affordable care. Although a Primary Care Physician (PCP) can address most medical needs, accessing these clinicians can prove challenging for several reasons. For starters, the average wait time to see a family medicine doctor is 20 days, meaning that patients with pressing concerns must either visit an urgent care facility or risk more severe issues by waiting until their PCP is available. Neither option is appealing, especially considering the fees associated with ERs and urgent care centers. But even those who risk their well-being to see their PCP are not guaranteed cost savings. “A majority of PCPs are part of large hospital systems where they have incentives to refer care into expensive, facility-based settings,” says Beth Holmes, Head of Network Development at Hint Health. Consequently, many employees delay care— or worse, avoid the doctor's office altogether.
A Direct Approach to Primary Care
In both cases, employees stay sick, resulting in lower productivity and higher health costs. That’s why companies are increasingly turning to solutions by Hint Health, a leader in the Direct Primary Care (DPC) movement.
How does DPC enhance health care, you ask? Holmes explains, “Because DPC [clinicians] see about 75% fewer patients than traditional PCPs, they have the time to address root causes of health issues, and are available when patients need them.” Put another way, with Direct Primary Care, patients no longer have to wait weeks on end for a basic check-up.
Moreover, since DPC clinicians see fewer patients than a traditional PCP, they can dedicate more time to addressing their patients' unique medical needs.
The DPC approach to primary care not only boosts employee satisfaction, but also improves health outcomes. Holmes continues, "Because patients have a strong relationship with their primary care clinician, they feel comfortable checking in regularly rather than delaying seeking care to the point when conditions become severe." What's more, with patients visiting the clinic for routine check-ups, clinicians can more easily identify and resolve potential health problems. As a result, employees maintain better control of their health– and their employers spend less on medical emergencies.
The Hint Health Advantage
Despite its many advantages, Direct Primary Care has proven difficult to implement for many employers, especially those with large or geographically dispersed employee populations. Luckily, Hint Health is hard at work improving access to DPC. “We work with independent, local Direct Primary Care (DPC) clinicians in the communities where employees live to create one unified front door to DPC for employers,” explains Holmes. “We make it easy for employers to work with DPCs by bringing together multiple independent DPCs into one single contract, offering a standardized benefit across practices, and managing eligibility, enrollment and payment on our best-in-class Hint Core technology.”
One of the best things about Direct Primary Care, according to Holmes, is that you get to have a doctor who feels like family— “Someone who knows you, who you can trust, and you can always call on with any medical need or question.” Now, thanks to Hint Health’s cutting-edge software and inclusive solutions, it’s easier than ever for businesses to bring these benefits to employees. This fall, patients no longer need to empty their wallets at the ER or risk their health waiting for their Primary Care Provider. With Direct Primary Care, they can access high-quality care at the right time for the right price.
We are proud to feature Hint Health on the The Granite List.