Friday, August 04, 2006

Primary Care is Where It's At

I found yet another article about a micropractice, this one in Rhode Island, which serves as a rebuttal to some recent opinions that primary care is dead.
Ho has no receptionist or other staff members, so immediately after greeting a patient, the two enter into a conversation about the patient's health, a physical examination, and discussion of next steps. The relatively small size of Ho's practice allows her to spend a relatively large amount of time with each patient: at least an hour for a first visit and a half hour or "as long as it takes" for subsequent visits.

As the visit draws to a close, the doctor handles all of the administrative details, including billing and scheduling the next appointment, herself. The results of focusing so much on her patients are clear: although Ho estimates that she's forced to spend more than 60% of her time on administrative tasks, she has over 600 patients, and will soon have to close her practice to new patients that are not family members of existing patients.

Dr. Ho is on the Map. I suspect there are a lot more micropractices out there than anyone thinks. Hopefully we'll start reading more about them as the word gets out.