July 19, 2017 — Blog Posts

The New World of Primary Care: Behavioral Health, Preventive Care and More

By Maureen McKinney

The field of primary care has undergone seismic changes over the last decade, ranging from the shift from fee-for-service to value-based care, the growing emphasis on care coordination and team-based care, and the increasing use of health information technology.

In this podcast, I spoke with Katila Farley, Administrator of Birmingham Internal Medicine Associates, in Birmingham Alabama, about the challenges primary care providers face when navigating reimbursement changes, coordinating care and playing a more active role in managing patients’ behavioral health

What you’ll learn:

  • How primary-care provider responsibilities have shifted during the last 10 to 15 years, especially with regard to quality improvement programs. Katila talks about how physicians today are straddling two realities: practicing in a fee-for-service environment while also trying to adjust to value-based care.
  • Why primary care providers are placing a greater focus on wellness and preventive-care services like Medicare annual wellness visits to meet quality care measures and reimbursement requirements.
  • How the shift toward value-based care impacts providers and care teams during everyday patient interactions. Katila talks about why practices should prepare for patient visits ahead of time and offers strategies for making those visits more cost-effective.
  • How practices like Birmingham Internal Medicine Associates have adopted the Patient-Centered Medical Home Model and are playing a more active role in patients’ behavioral health care
  • What primary care offices must do to attract top talent, and the importance of maintaining a technologically efficient practice
  • The correlation between automated technology and the patient experience–Katila tells us that to succeed in today’s patient-centered, value-based care world, practices must move beyond traditional care methods and begin implementing more advanced technology, including virtual visits, online portals and mobile communication with patients

Insight from Katila:

“Providers have to be willing to change in this new primary care environment. If you can’t adapt, you won’t be able to keep up with where we are going.”

“Practices have to think about what they do before, during and after the visit to make sure patients are receiving the care they need at the moment they need it.”

“Doctors today want to work for a practice that is technologically advanced, has an EMR, is robust and efficient. It’s one of the most important, if not the biggest factors in recruiting top talent.”

“I believe that the partnerships between an organization’s patients and the technology they’re using is the key to an efficiently run practice.”

Listen to the podcast!

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