Doctors Look To Reform Care System
Some doctors seeking to reinvent medical practice are streamlining their practices "to reduce the health care bureaucracy and restore the old-fashioned doctor patient relationship," the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
The Sentinel profiles Maria Greaves, a physician in Santa Cruz County who recently adopted such a system, in which she focuses on providing care for low-income, working individuals. By also serving as receptionist and nurse, Greaves has reduced operating costs to $1,500 per month, compared with about $3,500 per month at a typical solo-practice with other workers.
Greaves does not accept insurance and instead charges lower fees for services such as a first-time office visit, which costs $45 in most cases.
The California Medical Association several months ago launched a pilot project to reduce the administrative tasks at physician offices (Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel , 7/23). Doctors and nurses who are participating in the project volunteer to examine their practices and make changes if they would allow them more time for patient care, improve their bottom lines and make their staffs "happier," the Sentinel reports.
The yearlong pilot project is funded by the Physicians' Foundation for Health System Excellence (Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel , 7/23).
Several California doctors also are participating in the American Academy of Family Physicians' TransforMED project, which seeks to improve practices in ways that benefit patients and doctors (Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel , 7/23).