When Elizabeth Hampton, owner of Fairhaven’s CorePhysio, joined the physical therapy industry 31 years ago, things were different. “We had the freedom to customize the amount of time we spent with each client depending on the complexity of their needs,” she explains. “There were few insurance hoops to jump through.”
Now, insurance-funded healthcare is driving care to be delivered in much shorter periods of time. The appropriate drive for value, when taken to an extreme, is resulting in risky trade-offs. To reduce costs, many plans limit the amount of time providers can spend with a client. This is what Hampton calls “NASCAR Healthcare,” and she says it not only affects the healthcare industry, but everyone who has or will ever use it.
“Imagine a pit stop at a car race,” she says. “The car pulls rapidly into the pit and a group of mechanics run out. They change the tires, jack the car up, put the wheels back on, and off they go. The trick is, the faster they do it, the faster a person can get back into the race.”
Sounds great for a car, but it’s not a good approach for everything.
“If you’re a car in a race, or if you’re a person with a simple problem to solve, that could work really well,” Hampton says, “but all humans don’t work that way; there is no substitute for feeling like you are heard, understood and important, especially if you’re scared or unsure of what is going on with your body. Because humans need time to connect, communicate what is important to them and also ask clarifying questions to make sure they understand.” Even the most efficient, brilliant health care provider can deliver subpar care if they’re rushed to make big decisions too quickly.
Rather than rushing their clients in and out the door, CorePhysio invests time to enable human connection.
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