For more than 30 years, the modern-day visiting physician practice has complemented the long-term care landscape in America. Major players such as Visiting Physicians Association dominated the need for at-home care for many years starting in the early 1990’s.
Today there are operators across America and in American territories. Some originating in the homeland have divisions in Jamaica, The U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and other places.
The goal, as stated by most is to “return America to a society wherein the visiting doctor can be relied upon” similar to the Marcus Welby concept of TV’s past. With the advent of a push to reduce premature returns to hospital emergency rooms, legislation such as the Affordable Care Act have made the visiting doctor more than fashionable.
As more and more players abound, consumers of these services, or patients are demanding more and they have the right to do so. As a result, operators have a need to embrace innovation on a variety of levels, including:
Visiting physician groups need to be publishing agencies. This means they provide patients with written or emailed info on a regular basis relating to diabetes prevention and management, wound prevention and management, hypertension prevention and management, STD prevention and more.
In addition, there needs to be advice for families on how best to care for a catastrophically injured member of the household or someone with dementia.
Visiting physician groups should also pursue partnerships with senior living providers. An apartment complex with 200 tenants over the age of 65 – especially in bad weather states – find visiting doctor services convenient, effective and health stabilizing. While property managers cannot dictate which providers a tenant may choose to receive medical services from, an established wellness partnership is often respected by tenants as an indication that property owners are more than “rent-focused”. These arrangements add to the credibility of independent living managers and provides a real marketing edge.
Usage of apps that allow patients, patient guardians and family members, case managers and others to schedule appointments and request dialogue regarding prescription refills and more brings the physician practice into the current century. It also endears the practice to baby-boomers who arrange and manage care for much older adults.
Yes, we need visiting physician practices, especially those that engage in chronic and specialized care – such as to the chronically obese – but the ones that truly innovate will end up serving the community in the most effective way.
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A Blog Post by Health Industry Marketing, LLC. Photos used are for support of the written material and are never meant to imply an affiliation with or endorsement by any individual or organization.