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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M – Your employees may need to see a specialist or medical consultant at least once in their lifetime. 

For example, do they have persistent symptoms that a clinician failed to identify an exact cause for? Or do they have a persistent cough that does not seem to respond to recommended medications? These are some of the reasons people consult specialists.

You can find them in specialty clinics and large medical facilities. They do, however,  charge higher than clinicians, but direct primary care (DPC) providers offer in-house consultants at a reduced cost. Find out what, why, and how:

What Is a Specialist?

When your employees are not feeling well, they’d usually seek medical advice. A visit to a general practitioner or a family medicine clinic is typical. It’s also called primary care, a broad scope of healthcare delivery. Primary care oversees the overall health of your employees.

In contrast, secondary care is when your employees need to be checked for specific health conditions. It happens when the primary care provider refers them to a specialist.   They are experts in a particular body part and its condition. Unlike DPC clinicians, they have advanced education or training in a specific medical field. 

There’s a long list of specialties and subspecialties for various health conditions. For example, a cardiologist specializes in heart and blood vessels. On the other hand, your employees with hormone and thyroid problems or diabetes would visit an endocrinologist. Or they would see an oncologist if they have been diagnosed with cancer.

Your employees don’t have to go to them right away. Frequently, DPC clinicians resolve a health problem. Therefore, they refer your employees to one only when necessary.

Why Do Your Employees Need to See One?

DPC clinicians may or may not advise your employees to see a specialist. But here are some reasons why people need to see one.

1. They’re not getting better

Your employees continue to feel the symptoms, despite taking drugs suggested by a clinician. Additionally, they may have unrelated symptoms which persist. As a result, they physically and mentally suffer. It also impacts your business due to poor work performance or absenteeism.

2. They want a second opinion

Your employees receive a diagnosis after a thorough health assessment. It includes lab tests like blood samples and x-rays. The results of the tests may be good or bad. Your employees would usually seek a second opinion for an alarming finding. It’s a way of either confirming or opposing the diagnosis.

3. They have complex, rare, or chronic conditions

A DPC clinician can diagnose your employees with the condition that requires special care. Examples are diabetes, heart muscle disease, and asthma. A specialist best manages these conditions. They handle health issues that require monitoring for potential complications. It also includes frequent medication and dose changes.

4. They have a life-changing condition.

Health assessment and lab tests may reveal a severe illness. For example, your female employee has breast cancer, this dreaded condition radically affects her life. Thus, she must see an oncologist for the right medical therapy and lifestyle adjustments. Constant monitoring is also needed to prevent cancer progression.

5. They need a new or advanced medical intervention.

A DPC clinician may not be familiar with specific therapies for a certain condition. These tools or therapies may be new or advanced technology. Specialists go through more training to use these technologies. For example, they may know more about nano-medicine or nanotechnology than a DCP clinician. 

What Are the Benefits of Consulting a Specialist From a DPC Provider?

The benefits are two-fold. It suits your employees and is good for you as an employer. 

1. For employees

A survey shows no difference in the health status of people who visited a specialist and those who saw a generalist. Moreover, it reveals that people who visited them were from urban areas. They were more educated and had higher incomes.

In contrast, a 2022 systematic review reveals insulin education by a diabetes expert was more effective than standard care. 

Regardless of the results of conflicting studies, it’s noteworthy to mention the overall impact. Your employees receive the proper care for their specific health conditions. They won't spend much on repeated follow-ups and medications that don’t work. As a result, their performance and quality of life improve.

2. For employers

DPC providers offer fixed membership fees lower than insurance. They bring down your cost by reducing the use of ER and admissions. Some DPC providers also include referrals to specialists. 

They are part of the DPC providers’ network. DPC clinicians serve as a bridge when your employee needs one. They talk directly to a medical consultant and discuss your employee’s case with their consent. Thus, you and your employee won’t have to pay high consultation fees.

Further, there’s continuity of health care. Your employees don’t have to leave work to visit another clinic. It results in less absenteeism and supports productivity.

Don’t miss out. Save costs on your employees’ healthcare benefits!

What Is the Most Common Specialist in Albuquerque?

Every person is unique, but every place has its prevailing health conditions. According to the Bernalillo Community Health Profile, some of the common chronic diseases in Albuquerque are:

Your employees could have any of these health problems. It is thus crucial to help them cope with these conditions since they last a lifetime. In collaboration with a consultant, a DPC clinician can effectively manage your employees’ specific health problems.

There are other specialties and subspecialties in Albuquerque. But it is best to talk to us if you think you need specialized care.

Get a FREE business review here. Learn about the DPC membership fee for your employees.

How much are the consultation and professional fees?

Specialist fees vary depending on the nature of the condition and location. They are expensive compared to primary care clinicians. Examples of the cost per visit without insurance, labs, and diagnostic tests:

Further, fees are unregulated so that they may charge more than others. A 2017 study reveals they practice price discrimination. They charge higher fees to people who can afford them with higher incomes.

The cost of consultation fees also varies for employees with insurance. For example, your employees may pay upfront about $25 to $50 if they’re insured. But DPC providers may refer your employees to a specialist at a lesser cost. 

Where Can Your Employees Find the Nearest Specialist?

There are many DPC providers to choose from in Albuquerque. Some offer referrals to in-house consultants, but others do not. 

Often, your employees won’t need one at all. DPC providers offer preventive medicine and health counseling. Your employees’ health concerns can be addressed at the primary care level. 

If they already urgently need one, a DPC provider works with the specialist to manage a chronic or rare condition. The membership fee may or may not cover the consultation fee. But it’s generally at a lesser cost than a fee-for-service without insurance.

Here’s how to choose a DPC provider nearest you.

ALBUQUERQUE, NM - The answer for affordable and ideal employee healthcare remains a mystery for most employers. Primary care, the main building block in any healthcare system, faces many challenges. These challenges include clinician burnout and providing quality care at a lower cost. Low compensations for primary care providers also remain a reason for clinician shortage. 

Putting together high-quality health services for a lower and affordable cost is as difficult as it gets, for example, getting health insurance for employees small business

Direct primary care (DPC) faces these challenges head-on. Direct primary care came up with solutions to achieve balance. Now everyone can choose to enjoy quality health services for less.

Here’s a glimpse of how the DPC does it. Clinician burnout and low pay? DPC responds by engaging more clinicians and providers. Moreover,  DPC decreases the number of patients or lowers the patient panel. Fewer patients mean less administrative work and thus shorter work hours. Thus, fewer chances for primary care provider shortage.

Direct primary care attempts to give solutions. These solutions result in happy doctors and happy patients. A harmonious patient-doctor relationship is of utmost importance for better health outcomes.

What Is Direct Primary Care for Employee Healthcare

Direct primary care is a novel and evolving approach towards helping employers and the working population get high-quality health services at an affordable cost. It has the following features:

  1. A membership fee. It is usually in the form of a fixed premium recurring monthly which covers most or all primary-care related services offered. This monthly fee ranges from 40 to 80 USD per person.
  2. Smaller patient panels. Patients usually range from 200 to 600 people per direct primary care clinic. In this manner, patients are sure to have access to the services that they need.
  3. Patients are not charged with out-of-pocket amounts beyond the set retainer’s fee.
  4. Third-party providers are not billed based on a fee-for-service model for the services rendered.
  5. Direct primary care providers contract with patients and/or employers. No other person or institution is included.
  6. Patients have better access to their primary care providers because of the smaller number of patient panels.
  7. Patients get to have longer and more meaningful time spent at the clinic. This enables the primary care provider to efficiently diagnose and address the patient’s needs.

Direct primary care became the answer to solve the crisis of the heavily burdened healthcare system. The current system struggles with poor patient-doctor relationships secondary to a large number of patients under the care of the traditioimary care clinic. 

The current system also grapples with clinician burnout. The low compensation of primary care providers is a probable contributor. Administrative burden further leading to longer work hours is also a huge factor. This is especially because it may no longer be reimbursable.

Moreover, the current healthcare system suffers from a shortage of primary care providers because more medical students are no longer encouraged to practice medicine. Low pay rates and the tiresome administrative burden are often cited as the primary reasons. The shortage of primary care providers will lead to more burnout and thus, poor patient care.

How Much Does Primary Care Cost?

Direct primary care gives the right value for one’s hard-earned money by providing the best services at a given premium. According to a survey, these are the usual premiums per age group:

The worth of direct primary care is not always attached to its affordable price tag. DPC prides itself in a better healthy patient-doctor relationship which is not a feature of traditional primary care. 

A healthy patient-doctor relationship is one of the best facets of direct primary care. This type of relationship results in better patient compliance and proactivity in terms of health and wellbeing.

For instance, direct primary care providers spend quality time with their patients in 40 minutes on average. This contrasts with the average clinic visit which takes only about 15 minutes per patient. This alone is already a huge difference that can have a positive impact on the overall wellness of an individual, and how they will continue to take care of it. A productive clinic visit can result in  accurate laboratory workup, right diagnosis, and right medications. This alone enables the end-user to enjoy savings from unnecessary lab workups and medications.

Annual check-ups, lab visits, and even home visits further solidify doctor-patient interaction. This results further in better compliance with medications and overall therapy. Direct primary care encourages the right way to practice preventive medicine. 

Including preventive medicine in a healthcare package begets healthier patients, healthier employees, better employers, and thus, a better economy. In direct primary care, primary care is being packaged and distributed directly to employers and consumers by the direct primary care clinic themselves. And that includes preventive medicine.

Another highlight: For a fixed and affordable premium, there is an available basic illness management which covers both acute and chronic conditions. Even if the patient needs to visit another clinician from a specific specialty, he does not go out of the clinic empty-handed. Because of his membership, initial management is carried out along with care coordination.

And not just that – interfacility coordination is part of the package. Does one know how much an interhospital referral costs? Referrals are usually where surprise medical bills happen. It is very vital to include the costs that come with care coordination, and that is one of the things that direct primary care proudly brings to the table. Direct primary care creates a network of services covering multiple specialties, and seamlessly coordinates the patient from one specialty to another without additional hidden costs. 

All these, for the price of one fixed premium, recurring monthly. Talk about convenience!

Is Direct Primary Care Worth It?

Aside from monetary gain in the form of savings, direct primary care gives both the provider and the patient a satisfying experience. It is not just important to excel in terms of patient satisfaction – a happy and content doctor on board is also paramount for overall patient welfare.

With limited patient panels, clinicians are no longer overworked yet underpaid. Burnout rates go lower, and thus, the quality of primary care services rendered will be at the optimum. Clinicians value their rapport with their patients as this is key to the right diagnosis, treatment and management, and follow-up. Thus, clinicians who have been complaining about spending hours doing paperwork will no longer see this as an issue. Rest assured that inside the clinic, your doctor has their full attention on you and your condition!

A survey on clinicians engaged in direct primary care gave the following findings:

  1. Better overall (personal and professional) satisfaction
  2. Better ability in the practice of medicine
  3. Better quality of primary care
  4. Better relationships with primary care patients
  5. Lesser amount of time spent on paperwork
  6. Lesser amount of time spent at the office.

On another note, a survey conducted on physicians engaged in direct primary care clinics noted the following from their patients:

  1. Ease in terms of scheduling appointments with their direct primary care provider. The majority of patients report that they can schedule an appointment with their direct primary care provider within the day. Waiting time was equivalent to four minutes in the office for scheduled appointments to commence. After that, patients were noted to spend approximately 38 minutes with their direct primary care provider inside the clinic. 
  2. Ability of patients to access their electronic health records from their direct primary care provider through a patient portal. This innovation makes everything more convenient. This includes the ability to sign up and manage their enrollments online through their direct primary care provider’s website.
  3. Majority of the respondents expected the direct primary care model to improve patient satisfaction. It encouraged patients to independently, through their direct primary care provider, obtain necessary but nonprimary care services. In the process, patients enjoy lower to no out-of-pocket costs. Among the direct primary care program's consequences is increased patient compliance in terms of preventive care.

Takeaway

It is no longer a question of whether direct primary care is worth a consideration for everyone. It is clear that DPC directly solves issues pertaining to affordable, yet high-quality healthcare services coupled with improved patient and provider experience.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Employees may develop chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. When left unmanaged, these conditions are among the top leading causes of death in New Mexico and the US. Chronic health issues and their complications also reduce employee productivity…not to mention time lost from going to the doctor. 

A direct primary care (DPC) provider offers accessible healthcare. It benefits your employees in many ways:

Why Is Accessible Healthcare Important?

Well Life Family Practice, a DPC provider, offers accessible healthcare. It is timely and leads to the best health outcomes. Your employees get the proper healthcare, where and when they need it. Our qualified and competent staff provide healthcare services at their call.

These employee services are included in a flat monthly membership fee:

Same-day/next-day appointments are always available to your employees 

There may be times when your employees have an urgent or semi-urgent healthcare need. 

Unfortunately, your employees are forced into high-cost urgent care or emergency rooms in the current healthcare system. With the Well Life Primary Care Program, your employees can skip the high costs, long wait times, and disjointed care. They can be seen by their very own primary care provider. 

As a result, they get seen promptly and get back to work feeling better and ready to work. 

Virtual consultation 

There may be times, though, that your employees can’t visit our clinic. In this case, they can schedule a virtual consultation with us. 

Is the quality of care comparable to face-to-face clinic visits? There are upsides and downsides to telemedicine, based on two 2021 studies.

A study led by the University of Cambridge shows the benefits and risks of telemedicine among people with chronic diseases. The key finding reveals that 86% of clients and 93% of medical practitioners said it was worse than face-to-face consultations. The reason was the inaccuracy of assessment or a misdiagnosis. 

The researchers concluded that healthcare provider training could improve safety and acceptability. It also helps to offer options for clients.

In contrast, another study reveals that online consultations are acceptable, convenient, and effective. The researchers identified challenges like identity verification and online interface. However, both patients and medical practitioners found satisfaction in the online consultation.

Longer visit times

Since a medical practitioner has fewer clients, more time is spent with each client. It is one of the advantages of direct primary care compared with traditional care. DPC sees a client for about 40 minutes compared to 10 minutes in traditional care.

We provide personalized and patient-centered approaches. It means your employees spend more time with our medical practitioners. We engage with your employees and empower them to decide on the best modality that suits them. 

They get a comprehensive assessment of their medical concerns. Additionally, we discuss the appropriate lab tests, medications, and therapies.  

24/7 telemedicine

If they seek healthcare without leaving their work or home, they can do so. We have a 24/7 telemedicine facility they can call for acute care. They can talk to our healthcare representative about any immediate medical concerns.

Telemedicine provides remote access to healthcare, especially for people in rural areas. A 2020 narrative review shows telemedicine continues to provide quality accessible healthcare solutions. 

It works well as it maintains social distancing in the pandemic. In addition, the review reveals that telemedicine appointments can be as good as face-to-face clinic visits.

Telemedicine at your employees’ fingertips – bust the myths today.

Why Is Access to Healthcare Critical?

Access to healthcare impacts health and well-being. Reliable access to healthcare services is vital for three reasons.

1. Prevent disease and disability

Early detection is the key to preventing chronic diseases or the progression of a severe illness. Studies found that clients with chronic diseases under DPC have fewer recurring health concerns. As a result, there are fewer ER visits.

Moreover, obesity can be mitigated through early prevention. Obesity contributes to the leading causes of chronic diseases and premature deaths in NM. 

Based on a 2018 survey, the rate of overweight adults in NM is very close to the national average. Obesity by itself can be considered a chronic disease. However, comorbidities or multiple chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension add to the financial burden. 

Access to healthcare allows obese adults to seek nutrition and weight loss counseling. These prevention activities are included in a DPC’s monthly membership fee.Other prevalent chronic diseases in Bernalillo County include asthma, lung cancer, and arthritis. These medical conditions can be prevented through counseling, annual medical exams, and labs.

2. Improve the quality of life

It increases care and health outcomes, especially if your employees have chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes. We offer chronic disease management to help them cope with the challenges of their disease. They have access to consultation, education, and follow-up care. 

Health-related quality of life refers to physical and mental health. Access to healthcare improves both conditions through proper health monitoring. 

For example, your employees’ high blood pressure is maintained, or their blood sugar levels are controlled. Thus, they continue to stay healthy without feeling the symptoms of their chronic condition.

As a result, their physical and mental state affects the other aspects of their lives. Quality of life includes employment, housing, social relationships, and community. It’s an encompassing concept that extends to spirituality, belief, culture, and values.

3. Reduce risks of early death

Premature death can be brought about by many factors. New Mexico’s top causes of mortality are heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Most of these medical conditions are preventable. Access to healthcare, as earlier discussed, helps manage these chronic conditions.
Regular check-ups, diagnostics and labs, and health education contribute to keeping you healthy. For people with hypertension or diabetes, access to healthcare can reduce their risk of premature death.

Here’s why your employees need chronic disease management.

Poor health is associated with absenteeism, presenteeism, and job loss. It can equate to a loss of income for you, due to your employees’ reduced productivity.

Absenteeism

For instance, your employee can’t report to work because their blood pressure may be 180/110 with dizziness and a headache. A day’s absence due to your employee’s chronic disease can affect work and your business, too.

A study found that absenteeism ranged from one to two days per employee per year, depending on the chronic disease. Results of the study show absenteeism per employee cost about $16 to $81 for small employers and $17 to $286 for large employers per year. In another study, the cost of absenteeism was $520.

It’s a substantial loss for your employees, who incur lower income. And it affects your business due to lower productivity.

Presenteeism

For instance, your employee, John’s blood sugar level registers at 180 mg/dL in the morning. John still makes it to work, but he feels tired and nauseous with a racing heartbeat. He is physically present at work but not functioning as expected.

John’s presenteeism can cost you a lot. 

Based on a study, presenteeism significantly exceeded combined costs of absenteeism and medical treatment. For example, according to a study among Japanese employers, the cost of presenteeism due to chronic diseases was $3,055.

In another US-based four-year review, the researchers identified 22 specific health conditions associated with presenteeism. These health conditions resulted in daily productivity loss. It includes NM’s top chronic diseases - heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Specifically, heart diseases are risks linked to presenteeism. A study among 6,047 employees suggests access to healthcare services to prevent the cost of presenteeism.

Job loss

Your employees are at risk of financial insecurity when left unhealthy. They can lose their job because of the severity of their chronic condition. It happens when they’re sick often and don’t have proper healthcare services. 

Unemployment is possible on top of incidental expenses. Medical expenses include medications, tests, procedures, and supportive therapies. 

Unhealthy behaviors contribute to disability and unemployment. Some of these behaviors are smoking and poor diet among people with chronic diseases. At the same time, employees undergoing medical treatment are at risk of job loss. 

Job loss worsens your employees’ chronic disease and increases their risk of mental problems. It can result in anxiety, depression, or even suicidal ideation in the long term.

Researchers suggest the importance of the workplace environment. They derived their suggestion from a qualitative study among people with chronic diseases from seven European countries. 

They said the workplace could adapt to the needs of people with chronic diseases to allow them to function or return to work for good.

Adapting the work environment helps people retain or go back to their job. Another solution is access to healthcare, such as health promotion. It provides employees resources in choosing activities for a healthier lifestyle.

Don’t let your employees’ chronic disease affect their work. Help them manage their hypertension now.

Bottomline

Hypertension and diabetes are two of the leading chronic diseases in New Mexico. It can cause absenteeism, presenteeism, and job loss. Access to healthcare manages your employees’ chronic disease(s). It can prevent the progression of their condition or the development of a severe illness. In addition, it can improve their quality of life and reduce the risk of early death.

Access to healthcare services includes same-day appointments, telemedicine, virtual consultation, and quality consultation time. It leads to healthy employees, lower medical costs, and better productivity.

Well Life Family Practice offers comprehensive healthcare services for you for only $75 per month.

More face time, less wait time! Enroll online today.

Accessible Healthcare

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – “I’m hypertensive and a diabetic with high cholesterol levels.” Sound familiar? Your employees are among many New Mexicans (NM) who journey through life with chronic conditions. Over 23% of NM adults aged 45-65, to be exact, have been diagnosed with multiple chronic conditions.

Direct primary care (DPC) offers chronic disease management for your employees. But they need a care plan to begin with. A DPC care plan is important. It ensures they receive the proper healthcare based on their needs and preferences.

What are the benefits and impacts of a care plan for your employees’ health?

What is a care plan?

A care plan is a personalized plan of care. It consists of health goals, strategies, and timetables. It identifies the people involved in the care interventions. Finally, a review or report serves to assess and monitor health progress. 

A care plan is different from individual to individual. But it has the same five purposes:

  1. The healthcare team, such as Well Life Family Practice, works with your employees’ to know what kind of care and how they can receive the care they need. 
  2. Everyone in the healthcare team gives the same care given to others. 
  3. There’s consistency and continuity of care, regardless of the caregiver.
  4. Rest assured that whatever care they receive is recorded. 
  5. The care plan can be adjusted based on the periodic review and their wants.

You employees and a healthcare provider, or we, collaborate to develop the care plan. It is customized based on their specific needs, particularly if they have a chronic illness. 

A study notes primary care settings are most effective in managing the chronic disease of people in their communities. For example, the Assessment of Chronic Illness Care tool was developed in 2000. It has been helping primary care providers deliver care for people with chronic diseases. It works well for diabetes and cardiovascular care outcomes.

DPC develops your employees’ personalized care plan, inclusive of the monthly fee. It costs only $75 and is offered by a DPC provider, Well Life Family Practice. It comes with other healthcare services in addition to chronic disease management.

Who is eligible for a care plan?

Your employees are eligible for a care plan if they have had illnesses for the past six months or longer. Some of these medical conditions include the following:

Most of these chronic conditions are prevalent among NMs. A 2019 survey by the Bernalillo Community Health Council reveals the following statistics:

What is involved in care planning?

Think of it as a blueprint that explains how to develop a care plan and where your employees play an active role. Based on a study, care planning highlights patient-centeredness, shared decision-making, and self-management. Simply put, care planning involves four steps:

1. Assessment

It details the background, interests, and medical history. Medical history includes tests, diagnoses, and treatments. At the same time, a crucial part of the assessment is discussing the health needs, desired outcomes, and goals.

2. Formulation of the care plan

This step involves the what, who, and how of care. What are the preferred medical interventions? What kind of support is needed? Who is part of the care? How are the health goals achieved and monitored? All activities are incorporated into an action plan.

3. Implementation of the care plan

The action plan in the previous step serves as a guide in applying the care. This step forms the bulk of care, where self-management plays a vital role.

4. Evaluation

During the care, it’s crucial to have regular contact with us as the healthcare provider. The feedback allows us to monitor and review the progress. Then, we make adjustments, if necessary, through shared decision-making.

Chronic disease impacts your personal, social, and professional life. Here’s why you need a care plan now.

What are the benefits and health impacts of a care plan?

Your employees benefit from personalized care planning in many ways. It goes beyond alleviating symptoms of their chronic disease. Besides their physical health, it positively impacts their well-being, relationships, and work. At the same time, their quality of life is significantly improved.

As a result:

Choose the best DPC provider. Here’s how.

How much does a care plan cost? 

Healthcare need not be expensive. We help cash-strapped employees, with or without healthcare insurance, to achieve better health. A care plan for chronic diseases costs $75 per month per employee. The cost also includes other healthcare services:

The rates and services vary from one DPC provider to another. So, it’s best to check each one to help you choose the best DPC provider for your employees’ needs.

Takeaway

Yes, you can spend $75 monthly per employee on a care plan by a DPC provider in Albuquerque. Your employees’ long-term conditions like hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol can be controlled at this cost. 

As a result, they achieve better health and improved quality of life. Moreover, a care plan allows them to decide what kind of care they need and how we can support them in attaining their health goals. 

Also, your employees can be more productive at work without feeling sick frequently. First, it saves them from medical costs due to the complications of their condition. And second, their wages won’t be affected by absenteeism or job loss.

In addition to chronic disease management, Well Life Family Practice provides many healthcare services. Your employees can use these services regardless of whether they have or don’t have a chronic condition. Best of all, they can register as an individual to receive the healthcare services they need.

Register today for a personal health membership.

Benefits and Health Impacts of a Care Plan Vertical 1

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Let’s take statin, a prescription drug, as an example. Statin in the USA was 400% higher than UK price, according to a study 10 years ago. Today, the cost of a 30-day supply of statin may range from $130-generic to $360-branded. For cash-strapped employees, that’s a stretch for a prescription drug to maintain cholesterol levels.

But do you know the actual base price of it is much lower? Join me as we dig into the hard truths about prescription costs:

Watch KC and Jason tackle the truth about prescription costs!

Who sets prescription drug prices?

Prescription drug prices have increased by 1,150%, and patient costs by 182% since 1987. Further, a 2017 study shows prescription drug prices in the USA were substantially higher than in nine other countries. It includes Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

So, who sets prescription drug prices in the USA that’s way up compared to other progressive nations?

According to a 2016 study, high drug prices resulted from the USA granting government-protected monopolies to drug manufacturers. It’s combined with coverage requirements imposed on government-funded drug benefits.
The study found market exclusivity lets manufacturers set high drug prices. In addition, a similar study shows the high cost of prescriptions is protected by monopoly rights granted by the FDA approval and patents.

Why do prescription drugs cost so much?

Do you want to save thousands on healthcare for your business?

Who profits the most from prescription drugs?

You may think it’s the pharmaceutical companies since they’re the ones manufacturing the prescription drugs. Well, these pharmaceutical companies are not the true bad actors in this story. It’s the PBMs.

Let’s dissect the trifecta to get a clearer picture:

  1. Pharmaceutical companies: Pharmaceutical companies base their prices on R&D, drug uniqueness/specialty, drug effectiveness, and competition. Yes, they earn a lot. Study shows large pharmaceutical companies significantly profit more than large public companies.

    These pharmaceutical companies earn money from wide distributorship. You can buy these prescribed drugs available in any pharmacy. But there are also specialty drugs. You only get these specialty drugs exclusively from specialty pharmacies that dictate their price.
  1. Health insurance companies: Health insurance companies rely on PBMs to negotiate agreements with drug manufacturers. And health insurance companies pay for the drugs dispensed to clients through PBMs. In return, they get a small margin of the drug profit.

    At the same time, health insurance companies reduce their administrative cost through PBMs who do leg work.
  1. PBMs: PBMs are third-party administrators or middlemen. There are three big PBMs in the USA. These PBMs monopolize the three vertical tiers. 

    For example, the first PBM acquired one of the leading health insurance companies in the country. 

    At the same time, a second PBM is affiliated with another big health insurance company. In addition, it acquired a known medical group, a healthcare provider. It also has its pharmacy, care delivery, and ambulatory care service.

    PBMs control 76% of costs or transactions. They make money from all tiers - health insurance, pharmacy business, and healthcare provider service. 

    They also make money through rebates or “kickbacks” from pharmaceutical companies. In exchange, PBMs assure these pharmaceutical companies preferred status on a health plan’s formulary. 

    In addition, they earn from “spreads.” It’s the difference between what they pay for the drugs from the pharma company and what is paid to them by the health insurance companies.  

    The only transparent cost in all these transactions is their fees.

Do you want discounted medications?

What are the solutions to high prescription costs?

A 2020 systematic review of 34 studies assessed the impact of US federal and state drug policies. It reveals these government initiatives led to reduced spending for consumers. But, the overall effect on patient outcomes remains unknown.

Early this year, a state initiative was formulated in New Mexico (NM). Rep. Angelica Rubio said, “Drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them.” 

To remedy the high costs of medications, Rep. Rubio introduced legislation to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB). This regulating body aims to establish an upper payment limit. Thus, through proper pricing of medications, NMs gain access to affordable medicines.

On the grassroots level, self-funded businesses bear the brunt of the healthcare costs of their employees. They pay for healthcare insurance, which includes medication expenses. Employers, like you, do not know the actual price from PBMs and what happens behind the scene.

Here are some solutions on how you can help your business and your employees mitigate high prescription costs:

WLABQ offers more than reduced prescription costs and lab tests. It has many ways to save money for you:

Takeaway

Health insurance companies, PBMs, and pharmaceutical companies drive prescription costs. WLABQ helps you manage the costs through various services. We work well with small businesses of less than 50 employees. 

A DPC provider, we do not spend unnecessary administrative expenses since we do not have a back office to process claims. As a result, we can offer a monthly fee of $75 per employee.

At this minimal rate, your employees enjoy healthcare benefits on top of discounted medications.

The Truth About Prescription Costs in Albuquerque infographics

Set an appointment with KC to know how Well Life ABQ can best help you save on prescription costs.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – How’s your business today? According to local news, Albuquerque is facing a labor shortage as of June 2021.

Despite the plateau of COVID-19 cases, the hospitalization rate is still increasing as of September. Moreover, the situation persists as the COVID delta variant cripples communities and businesses.

Finding workers these days can be challenging with the threat of the delta variant. But, your business can attract potential candidates, in particular, millennials.  

What are the differences between millennials and Gen Xers in the workplace?

Your workforce most probably belongs to either Gen X or Gen Y, also known as millennials. Generation Xers were born between 1965 and 1980, while millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. It is essential to understand their differences to know how to entice them to work in your business.

Do you need Direct Primary Care for your employees? You can be one of these ABQ businesses!

Why are millennials important in the workplace?

Small business owners have a hard time looking for workers with the right skills and job experience.  Regardless of a candidate’s generation, they have their downside, like Gen Xers. But they can be ideal candidates for specific reasons.

What do millennials want in the workplace?

The latest research data from trustworthy sources reveal what millennials expect from a workplace. 

Hire the Best in ABQ: Direct Primary Care as your employee Recruitment Advantage

How do millennials view healthcare?

Millennials expect healthcare to be accessible, available, and convenient. Growing up with technology, they want to access and communicate using digital applications. They value quality, affordable, and personalized service that goes beyond conventional medicine. 

Find out more about Well Life Family Practice healthcare services here.

How do you attract millennials through DPC?

The 2016 Harris Polls survey shows that 76% of millennials consider health benefits the top factor in choosing a workplace.  One example of a health benefit is DPC.

Takeaway

You may or may not be keen on hiring millennials, but the facts don’t lie. Millennials form a big chunk of the workforce, and they’re out there looking for a job.

They can contribute to the growth of your business with their generation’s positive qualities. One way of enticing them to join your business is offering them what they want.

Health benefits top the list of their must-haves with or without the threat of the pandemic. One of the health benefits you can offer is DPC. Well Life Family Practice has been providing healthcare services to businesses in Albuquerque for many years. 

Among the services are immediate acute care, virtual consult and 24/7 telemedicine, and integrative medicine options. These healthcare services attract millennial candidates to your business.

Hire the Best Millennials through DPC poster

Get in touch with us today at Well Life Family Practice for a FREE business review.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Are you one of those employers who offer health benefits for their employees? Other than healthcare insurance, have you created or thought of coming up with a workplace wellness program? 

Employers have different goals in coming up with a workplace wellness program. But like other employers in Albuquerque, you might be wondering if it’s worth it. Do your expectations match reality?

Let’s discuss what workplace wellness programs mean for your business:

What is a workplace wellness program?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 156 million people spend most of their time at work. Thus, it becomes an opportunity for employers to create a safe and illness-free environment.

A wellness program aims to promote a healthy lifestyle. And it intends to improve the health and well-being of employees in their workplace.

Experts categorize it into three prevention measures:

  1. Primary prevention efforts involve employees who are generally healthy. Activities revolve around maintaining the good health of your employees. Your employees need a wellness program that encourages them to pursue healthy activities. Examples are exercise, proper diet, and stress management.
  1. Secondary prevention efforts target high-risk employees. They include employees who are obese, smoking, and frequent alcohol drinkers. Examples of wellness activities are weight loss practices and smoking cessation.
  1. Tertiary prevention efforts,  geared towards managing diseases and chronic illnesses, target employees with asthma, diabetes, heart or kidney disease, and cancer. Likewise, a wellness program promotes medication or treatment compliance and self-care management.

What are the latest trends of a workplace wellness program?

A shift in wellness offerings depends on the changing times. Based on the Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 84% of employers with more than 200 employees offered workplace wellness programs in 2019. It included weight loss, smoking cessation, behavior and lifestyle counseling, and screening.

In contrast, a more recent report by Wellable reveals employers invest in these five initiatives:

  1. Mental health (88%)
  2. Telemedicine (87%)
  3. Stress management/resilience (81%)
  4. Mindfulness and meditation (69 %)
  5. COVID-19 risk intake/wellness passport (63%)

Programs can include different kinds of wellness activities. However, it’s best to adapt the specific activities to the present need. 

MOBE CEO Chris Cronin, in an interview with Forbes, shared insights. First, Cronin said there’s no one-size-fits-all program. Instead, personalizing a program based on each employee’s health needs are the primary goal.

Cronin adds that it’s vital for leaders to provide support and accessibility, like data science or analytic tools. Cronin further stated employers should find and involve employees who need the program most. 

It’s great if your company has its workplace wellness program. But your employees need acute care, too.

Do workplace wellness programs work?

  1. Good health means productive employees and reduced costs on absenteeism. The key is designing the program properly, which results in improved health of employees and better productivity. 

The program, to be effective, needs to be customized for the benefit of your employees. Good health is maintained and monitored with the right program in place. As a result, you can save from the reduced cost of absenteeism with a healthy workforce.

  1. A study shows employees benefit from workplace wellness programs in three ways. First, it reduces risk factors like smoking. Second, it promotes healthy behaviors like fitness and exercise. 

And third, it helps manage lifestyle-related diseases that lead to sickness and early death. Hypertension, diabetes, and kidney or heart disease are examples. 

  1. Another study enjoined employees from a prominent US warehouse retail company.

Again, it reveals higher rates of positive health behaviors. For example, employees reported actively exercising and managing weight, unlike the other group without a program. 

The study did not find any significant improvements in health and health care costs. However, a different study shows that having an employee wellness program adds to an employees’ job satisfaction. It helps retain employees.

  1. Critics call workplace wellness programs a sham. Workplace wellness program fees cost about $100 per employee per year. Add to cost are incentives to motivate employees to join the program. Plus, productivity drops when employees go for a screening or health assessment.
  1. Remember the No. 2 on the Upside? The same study claims that the workplace wellness program had no significant impact even if employees reported positive health behaviors. In addition, the researchers did not find any health improvements or health savings after 18 months. 
  1. According to the Health Enhancement Research Organization, workplace wellness programs do not make money. Therefore, it does not result in a positive return of investment (ROI) for employers.

However, a Harvard University study reveals large employers gain positive ROI or generate savings. It benefits the health of employees and the budget of employers.

Have you considered DPC for your company? Check out what types of Albuquerque businesses need DPC. You can be one of them.

How does direct primary care contribute to the workplace wellness program?

Direct Primary Care (DPC)

  1. DPC prevents diseases through regular check-ups and screenings. Before creating a program for your employees, DPC can help come up with baseline health data. 

    Your employees go through an assessment to identify their specific health needs.  During the progress of your program, the practitioners make adjustments because employees undergo regular check-ups.

    Moreover, routine health screenings show when your employees get sick. Examples are high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and cancer.
  1. DPC manages chronic illnesses that can lead to more expenses or untimely death. Employees with chronic diseases can undergo a program based on their health status. 

    Employees can get the proper attention and healthcare while achieving their program goals. A DPC medical practitioner monitors their health through disease management.
  1. DPC offers personalized consults, nutrition counseling, and weight management. These programs go hand-in-hand with a workplace wellness program. Instead of in-house or company-sponsored counseling, DPC does all the job.  

    Health counseling is personalized, which results in positive expected outcomes. For instance, at Well Life Family Practice, we offer a women’s wellness program for female employees. Unlike other DPCs, we give integrative medicine options to employees looking for alternative treatments.
  1. DPC saves on healthcare costs. DPC offers a fixed monthly payment, including services compatible with workplace wellness programs. Employees don’t have to spend on extra healthcare services when they need them. 

    Services are not limited to health counseling during the workplace wellness program. DPC offers a wide array of services. For example, we offer these services to our members:

Hire the best employees in Albuquerque!

How do Workplace Wellness Program and DPC serve as employee recruitment and retention tools?

Workplace Wellness Program and DPC share commonalities. Both aim to maintain a healthy workforce that is economical. In addition, both serve as employee recruitment and retention tools.

According to the Principal Financial Well-Being Index, 45% of American employees working for small and medium businesses stay because of wellness programs.

In addition, 47% of employees without a wellness program said they would join one for better health. Among these employees, 30% said a wellness program reduces personal health care costs. Another 30% said it gives them a bigger chance of living a healthier and longer life.

Wellness programs work to retain employees and recruit new ones. It attracts potential candidates, especially among millennials. Millennials are known to be fitness and health buffs. They consider a program in deciding to apply to a company.

Do you want to attract talented candidates in general? The unemployment rate in Albuquerque is at 5.9 as of August 2021. This rate is lower compared to the previous months. 

If you want to attract potential candidates, offer them more than the essential benefits. It includes workplace wellness programs, as well as DPC as a health benefit. A study shows that 87% of employees considered health and wellness packages in selecting an employer.

Employers offering these health benefits stand out. They are sought after by employees who want more than a basic salary. 

Bottomline

Employers gain from DPC with or without a workplace wellness program.  You can add value to your existing program with DPC. It does not compete but complements the common goal of keeping your employees healthy.

A workplace wellness program has its upside and downside. DPC offers services a wellness program cannot deliver for a fixed monthly rate, and it retains your hardworking employees. At the same time, a wellness program attracts talents to your business.

Well Life Family Practice brings more than employee health benefits. It works to your advantage as it reduces your healthcare cost. 

You don’t have to be a large company to avail of our healthcare services. Small businesses like yours can join.

Well Life Family Practice and your workplace wellness program work together for a healthier workforce

Workplace wellness program

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M -- Workers come and go. At the height of the pandemic last year, employers had to let go of some good ones. Now that businesses are picking up, you may be one of those employers facing employee recruitment woes.

Filling in vacant positions can be a tedious task. So how does direct primary care (DPC) help you with recruiting the best employees in Albuquerque?

Job seekers are attracted to companies giving more than a hefty salary. For example,  Well Life Family Practice, a DPC provider, offers comprehensive healthcare services that attract qualified candidates. 

Discover DPC as an employee recruitment advantage:

Profiles of your potential employees

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, an estimated 7.9% of New Mexicans were unemployed in June 2021. In Albuquerque, there’s an increased rate of unemployment based on the current population. Statistics show a surge from 8.1 last year to 10 this year.

There’s no lack of potential employees as their numbers rise. Employers, though, have a list of desirable attributes. Of course, as an employer, you’d want to hire highly skilled employees. Traditional and blue-collar jobs require it most. 

Other employers consider millennials as new blood to inject dynamism into their businesses. Their birth years are between 1981 and 1996. People see them as a tech-savvy generation who want to be connected anytime and anywhere.

Some human resources (HR) experts brand millennials as the dominant working-age group in the US. They claim millennials will make up about 75% of the workforce by 2025. 

Other authorities remark that it’s an overestimation. However, millennials will still comprise a big chunk of the workforce by 2025, based on calculations.

As an employer, you may want to hire a highly skilled person or a millennial. In doing so, you have to know what they want. 

How does Direct Primary Care address the labor shortage in Albuquerque?

What employees want from you: To give you the employee recruitment advantage. 

  1. Medical, dental, and healthcare insurance: Recruiters say one of the most critical benefits jobseekers find attractive is health insurance. It’s an essential benefit expected by highly skilled candidates. 

    They want health coverage for themselves and the immediate members of their families. But, unfortunately, health insurance can be costly. Companies pay about $6,000 annually for employee coverage. It goes up to about $18,000 for full family coverage.

    However, not all businesses are required to give health insurance to workers. If you are a small business, the government doesn’t mandate you to offer one. 

    It’s a different case if, as a small business owner, you can offer this benefit. Advertising this benefit to candidates can have a positive result. You stand out like a beacon to jobseekers, based on a survey. Moreover, it’s the most desirable benefit for workers, according to the Harvard Business Review.
  1. Work from home (WFH) or flexible work hours (FWH): The pandemic has shaped and will forever alter the work environment. WFH and FWH are the “in” things these days. Letting staff WFH and offering FWH unburden them in many ways.

    They have the freedom of time to organize their activities without compromising their output. It saves time, money, and effort going back and forth to the office. It promotes work-life balance, as well.

    However, there are cases when employees can’t WFH. Their jobs require them to be at the workplace. But you can give them the option of FWH if they need to report to work physically. 

    Based on the Harvard Business Review, FWH comes second to health insurance as the top requested benefit. It satisfies the goal of work-life balance. Jobseekers want this benefit, too.
  1. Mental health and wellness: Workers are now focusing on their overall health and wellness. It may be due to aging as the baby boomers grow old and develop chronic diseases. 

    As for millennials, they’re more wellness conscious than the older generation. Or, it may be due to the effects of the pandemic because people fear for their health.

    Willis Towers Watson released the Emerging from Pandemic Survey this year. It reveals employers now focus on the workers’ well-being. It includes mental health services and programs promoting physical fitness.

    Some examples of wellness programs are meditation classes, discounts on gym memberships, and diet/nutrition counseling.

    Like health insurance, employers believe quality candidates find health and wellness programs appealing.
  1. Retirement plan: The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey found that 90% of companies offer some form of retirement plan.

    An example of a company-sponsored retirement plan is 401(k). It allows employers to match their workforce’s contribution. It’s a long-term benefit a job seeker looks forward to after years of hard work.

    The total cost can reach up to $700,000. However, this amount of investment lures job seekers to your business.
  1. Other perks may include career development opportunities and training incentives. These perks are vital to workers’ job satisfaction. 

    It’s a win-win situation. First, it shows employers are investing in their workers’ improvement and long-term tenure. In return, workers improve their skills and become more productive. 

    Since health-related benefits are top-of-mind, some employers partner with healthcare providers. DPC providers deliver various healthcare services at a fixed monthly rate.

    Jobseekers see these perks as an added value to the essential benefits.

Your employees will benefit from DPC. And so will you!

Why health benefits matter in employee recruitment

SHRM survey included insights on benefits strategies to give you, the employee, recruitment advantage. A total of 738 HR practitioners participated in the survey.

The survey reveals health care benefits top the list most important to workers at a 95% rate. In addition, HR practitioners said their companies changed benefits to help acquire new talents. 

About 65% of them said their companies modified their health care benefits to attract candidates. It included retirement savings, flexible hours, and career development.

Two-thirds, or 73% of HR practitioners, said health care benefits are vital in the next three to five years. Considering the survey was released in 2016, this foresight is now.

Health benefits are timelessly significant. Jobseekers considered it vital before, and especially, during or post-pandemic. 

Well Life Family Medicine offers comprehensive healthcare services: An employee recruitment advantage for you. 

Health is a primary concern of jobseekers. The majority of them consider health benefits in deciding whether to apply to a company or not. Millennials find nontraditional benefits attractive, too.

They look forward to healthcare services offered by a DPC provider, like Well Life Family Medicine. 

Bottom line

Jobseekers have different levels of knowledge, skills, and work experience. It’s why employee recruitment is challenging. 

How, then, can you hire the best employee? It helps if you look into what makes your business attractive to highly skilled or millennial workers.

Health and wellness benefits top the list of “must-have,” based on studies. DPC, like Well Life Family Practice, works to your employee recruitment advantage. It entices job seekers to apply to your business. In addition, we provide a comprehensive and quality healthcare package at a low cost.

Attract the best employees with an affordable benefit they will love!

Employee recruitment advantage

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M -- Getting sick nowadays poses bigger challenges. Other than medical costs, you face exposure to COVID-19 when you go to a medical facility. Your time and effort visiting a medical practitioner add to the hassle.

What can save your time, effort, and money? Accessing healthcare through telemedicine provides a practical solution.  It’s healthcare delivery with the use of technology. 

You won’t have to visit a medical practitioner personally. Instead, it allows you to interact with a medical representative whenever and wherever you need it.

Let’s bust some telemedicine myths to help you understand how it benefits you:

Myth 1: Telemedicine is a new technology brought about by the pandemic.

Reality: Telemedicine serves as a viable option. But it’s not the last resort for people seeking healthcare. Primary care and follow-up care use Telemedicine. It can be a good or bad option depending on the circumstance.

Telemedicine is not an innovation due to the pandemic. A form of telemedicine started way back in the 1960s. A decade later, it was labeled “telemedicine,” which means “healing at a distance.” 

The use of telehealth and telemedicine, though, surged during the pandemic. Healthcare facilities adapted telemedicine for inpatient and outpatient services. CDC reports a 154% increase in telehealth in March 2020 compared to 2019.

The state government of New Mexico (NM) recognized telemedicine’s emergence during the pandemic. As a result, in March 2020, the Office of Superintendent of Insurance released Bulletin 2020-005. It allowed the use and reimbursement of telemedicine for COVID-19 emergencies. 

Myth 2: It’s the last healthcare option.

Reality: Telemedicine serves as a viable option. But it’s not the last resort for people seeking healthcare. Primary care and follow-up care use Telemedicine. It can be a good or bad option depending on the circumstance.

Telemedicine allows medical practitioners to see and hear you. For example, they can listen to you when you cough. Or they can see when you have rashes on your skin. 

However, some health conditions require face-to-face interaction. For instance, they won’t be able to listen to your heartbeat. Or they won’t feel your skin through telemedicine.

You can still benefit from telemedicine for non-urgent health issues. Telemedicine is helpful when you have a chronic disease that needs follow-up care or monitoring. You get to discuss and receive medical advice through telemedicine.

Telemedicine benefits you in many ways, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Myth 3: It’s risky because it lacks a physical exam. 

Reality: Telemedicine myths include an inevitable disadvantage. It can never replace face-to-face interaction with a medical practitioner. You won’t get the proper physical examination or proceed with labs if needed. 

 You won’t receive a compromised quality of care. Again, it depends on the medical condition. There are times when a physical exam is not required, like minor or non-urgent cases. A medical history and current symptoms often suffice to make a diagnosis. In addition, telemedicine can be safe for post-surgery and follow-up medical care. 
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) supports telemedicine. AAFP says it’s an “appropriate and effective means of improving health when conducted within the context of appropriate standards of care.”

Myth 4: It’s just for acute care.

Reality: Telemedicine is a good alternative to acute care. You won’t have to rush to the ER, which can be costly and time-consuming. Plus, you can be at greater risk of catching viruses. Finally, telehealth use doubled during the pandemic based on its 2020 online survey among 2,081 US adults.

A 2019 study suggests telehealth as more effective in specific cases. For one, emergency medical services access to telehealth reduced deaths due to heart attacks. 

However, a 2021 study reveals that telemedicine for acute respiratory infections led to more follow-up visits. 

Regardless of the medical condition, people are willing to use telehealth. According to a 2019 Harris Poll survey, 66% of Americans wanted to seek medical help online for their chronic disease. 

The online survey further reveals telehealth usage depends on the age group. Millennials want it for their mental health care. In comparison, middle-aged adults want it for acute care. Older adults wish to it for chronic disease management and prescription refills.

Myth 5: It’s only for people residing in far-flung rural areas.

Reality: Its original function adds to the telemedicine myths. Telemedicine served as a healthcare tool for people living in remote or rural areas. As the internet became accessible to many people, telemedicine usage also increased.

Hospitals located anywhere now provide an emergency response through telemedicine. At the same time, the NM government allows in-state telemedicine. Direct primary care providers like Well Life Family Practice are licensed to offer telemedicine in Albuquerque.

In 2019, the NM government enacted SB 354 or “Health Coverage for Telemedicine.” This bill prevents site restrictions and limited coverage. It allows reimbursements, too.  So, regardless of your location in NM, you can access telemedicine. 

Myth 6: People don’t use telemedicine because it’s a waste of time.

Reality: People don’t like waiting for things because they value their time. It can be in a supermarket or a clinic. 

A traditional setup starts with scheduling an appointment. The 2017 Merritt Hawkins Survey reveals getting an appointment takes about 24 days. This appointment waiting time has increased by 30% since 2014.

To be more specific, a study found registration time took about 15 minutes. Once you get to the clinic, you have to wait for an average of 41 minutes. The study further reveals actual consultation with the medical practitioner was 18.21 minutes. You also have to consider the travel time to get to the clinic.  

Telemedicine is faster than traditional clinic visits in three ways. First, you delete your travel time and waiting time from the equation.

Second, it quickly responds to ER cases. A study shows telemedicine reduced wait times in ER hospitals by six minutes than those not using it. In remote areas, telemedicine delivered medical services 14 minutes earlier than local providers.

Third, it works for dental and visual health issues, too. About 78% of participants in a study said they are likely to use teledentistry within five years. Another study found that 70% are interested in virtual eye care consults.

Myth 7: It’s too complicated.

One of the apparent telemedicine myths is its usability. You don’t have to be tech-savvy to use telemedicine. It’s simple, like using Skype or FaceTime. All you need is your internet-connected smartphone or any device with audio and video. It’s a platform where you can share images or videos with someone on a screen.

Telemedicine providers have different platforms. But they instruct and help you on how to use their system. Video calls are better since a medical practitioner sees your health concern. For example, you get to show your rashes, sore eyes, or a lump. These visuals result in better diagnosis. 

However, some people still find it overwhelming. There’s always an option to make a phone call during clinic hours.

Myth 8: Telemedicine is not secure and threatens your privacy.

Anything online poses a risk to privacy and security. But telemedicine platforms are designed to be secure. They comply with The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations with high-grade security settings. In addition, most, if not all, platforms are encrypted from end to end.

Your medical information and conversations are kept safe. The data protection act ensures it. Well Life Family Practice protects any information about you.  And without your consent, no one shares it with anyone. You can ask us more about the telemedicine platform to ease your doubts.

You can also prevent leaking information at your end. In the office or home, you can find a private spot. You can do a video/audio call there without anyone hearing or interrupting you.

Well Life Family Practice pegs its membership fee at $75 a month. It covers other services with telemedicine.

Myth 9: It’s not cost-effective. 

Reality: Cost-effectiveness is one of the telemedicine myths debatable today. Researchers conducted a review on the cost-utility and cost-effectiveness of telemedicine from 2000-2013. They found telemedicine for specific conditions can reduce costs, but not all.

Telemedicine is the least expensive compared to other forms of healthcare delivery. For example, on-site care cost $1,166 per person in a year based on a study. In contrast, routine care amounts to $585. Telemedicine, though, is more cost-effective at $335.

From a practical point of view, it saves money for you. You won’t spend on gas or transport to visit the medical facility. Using telemedicine won’t compromise your productive time at work. Likewise, as an employer, you won’t worry about lost productivity for absent employees. 

Myth 10: It ruins the healthcare provider/client relationship

Reality: Telemedicine doesn’t intend to replace clinic visits. It serves as a viable option for minor health issues and chronic disease management. It’s advantageous when you can’t physically visit the clinic due to extraordinary cases.

Examples are during the COVID-19 pandemic and critical life-threatening emergencies. It also includes living remotely or being very busy at work.

At the same time, telemedicine can’t replace face-to-face consultation with a medical practitioner. But telemedicine can still deliver health care when it’s needed. You can still talk to a medical practitioner as if you’re in a clinic.

The importance lies in the quality of the conversation between you and the medical practitioner. Moreover, the healthcare team can assist you should you need to visit the clinic.

Takeaway

It’s an innovative healthcare tool with its benefits and downsides. Unfortunately, telemedicine myths can affect your decision to use them. But, based on reality, it works well for non-critical acute care and chronic disease monitoring.

Telemedicine saves your time and effort. At the same time, it’s cost-effective in delivering healthcare. Well Life Family Practice offers telemedicine with a fixed monthly fee. So, you can access it all year round, anytime and anywhere in Albuquerque.

Grab the $75 monthly fee for 24/7 telemedicine INCLUSIVE of other healthcare services at the Well Life Family Practice.
Telemedicine Myths Well Life ABQ Direct Primary Care Infographic
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