The Power of Preventive Medicine
The concierge healthcare model overcomes key barriers to obtaining preventive medical services
It’s just common sense.
Preventive services – from diagnostic tests to immunizations to nutrition counseling – can help detect, minimize or avert medical conditions at an early stage, before they become costly emergencies or lead to chronic illness. Prevention also helps maintain good health, vitality and energy – in other words, a better quality of life.
Sadly, many people don’t receive all the preventive care they should. In the United States, a survey by Health Affairs found that only 8 percent of adults ages 35 and older had received all of the clinical preventive services recommended for them.
Why is preventive medicine lagging behind? Many factors come into play:
The U.S. medical system often prioritizes treatment over prevention
Doctors are overworked and lack time for discussions with patients
There is a looming shortage of primary care physicians, further reducing opportunities for preventive care
Some practices may not have the ability to conduct certain screenings or immunizations, forcing patients to go elsewhere to obtain these services
Patients may lack health insurance to cover tests and doctor visits
Patients may not understand or appreciate the importance of prevention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that Americans use clinical preventive services at half the recommended rate.
How concierge medicine promotes prevention
Concierge medicine is one important solution to the shortfall in preventive services. With this delivery model, patients pay an out-of-pocket fee to obtain personalized care and expanded access to primary care doctors.
The keys here are greater access to primary care physicians, and more time available to spend on evaluation, diagnosis and discussion. Instead of a brief 10- or 15-minute doctor visit, which is typical of traditional primary care practices, concierge medicine allows for longer visits and more of them, so physicians and patients have ample opportunity to discuss long-term health strategy.
In addition, many concierge medicine practices emphasize holistic healthcare, not just disease detection and prevention. This approach encompasses wellness aspects such as exercise and nutrition counseling, smoking cessation, weight management, sleep clinics, hormone management, pain therapies and sexual performance enhancement.
Pivot emphasizes preventive services
With a philosophy of “integrative wellcare,” Pivot brings together multiple preventive services that can help patients optimize their health for the long term. Providing all these services in one place helps encourage patients to take full advantage of preventive care. Plus, our physicians carry a lighter patient load than their peers, giving them sufficient time to really understand each individual’s health situation, risks and goals.
An article in BMC Family Practice, a peer-reviewed journal, on knowledge, practices and expectations of preventive care, concluded that “primary care providers must take a more proactive role to provide preventive services.” At Pivot, our doctors do exactly that.