In this medical climate, with the presence of the Affordable Care Act, 30 million formerly uninsured patients will be entering into the medical system. This is good news for the uninsured, but bad news for quality of care. As a physician, I have seen vividly what happens to medical care when you try to squeeze more patients into an already saturated system. We have delays from appointment-to-office-visit, longer waiting room times and hurried appointments.
Along with the vast number of new patients, there are dwindling numbers of primary care providers. In 2013 there were 165 medical school graduates from UCSD (University of California, San Diego). 4 out of 165 graduates were entering family practice (2.5%); accounting for a major shortage of primary care physicians.
The consequence is 30 million new insured patients flooding an already saturated system. It’s a simple supply and demand problem. The average physician already has 3000-4000 patients and sees upwards of 20-25 patients per day; leaving less number of physicians and significantly more patients in the sytem. This inbalance leads to delays in access to care (getting appointments when you need them), delayed diagnosis, physician burnout, and further degrades the integrity of primary care. With limited time to build trusting realtionships with their physicians, patients pay the price. Physicians don’t have the luxury of really getting to know their patients. Can you see the problem?
You can think of Willow Medical Center as your affordable, private healthcare choice. You don’t have to be stuck in a public system and settle for just the “government option.”
In our model – you come first. Dr. Lewis will be limiting his patient load to a maximum capacity of 600 patients (compared to an average panel of 3000), and only seeing an average of 5-6 clients per day (compared to 20-25). This is how we really get back to what’s important – the relationship. Imagine un-hurried, un-rushed visits; no more 7 minute visits! Going to a doctor’s office shouldn’t feel like a cattle call. This is a “no-stone left un-turned” model. If you have 1 concern or 15 during your visit, Dr. Lewis will deal with ’em all!
We are not health insurance. We recommend to keep or obtain a health insurance plan for catastrophic coverage, hospitalizations, specilists and high-cost testing. We are an adjunct to your healthcare coverage. In some cases, you may want to negotiate a higher deductible and lower monthly cost on your health insurance, since most (90% or more) of your healthcare will be provided by your primary care provider here at Willow Medical Center. Dr. Lewis can help you decide the best options for optimal coverage.
Remember, having health insurance doesn’t mean you have health “care.” With access to community physicians dwindling, so is your access to quality care. Therefore, you may have health covereage but do you really have healthcare?
Here at Willow Medical Center, you aren’t just covered, you are cared for!