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Wherever You Are, ThedaCare is There Today - and Tomorrow

Posted 18 November 2013 12:00 AM by TCAuthor3

By Brian Burmeister, Senior Vice President Primay Care and Rural Campuses

I read the headlines just like you do. When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) goes into full effect some analysts predict there will be doctor shortages, mass physician retirements, longer waiting times and more. I think it’s time to step back, calm down and look at the facts.

Many healthcare organizations like ThedaCare began planning for healthcare reform long before the act was passed. Why? Because the old healthcare model of physicians getting paid for how many services they provided for patients wasn’t sustainable. To combat rising healthcare costs, ThedaCare began to change the model years ago. Instead of paying health care providers for how much care they deliver, we began shifting it to how good that care is. That’s better for patients and it’s the right thing to do.

We work with like-minded providers and other healthcare organizations to help Medicare and private insurers pay for excellent care. If you receive high quality care, you are less likely to be readmitted to the hospital, more likely to keep your diabetes under control and more likely to complete your colonoscopy. ThedaCare doctors want to be paid for that reason – not because they kept you in the hospital longer, ordered unnecessary tests or made you come back for more appointments.

You don’t need to worry about any doctor shortage. ThedaCare’s providers are strategically placed throughout our clinics and hospitals to you get the care you need. I’ve worked very closely with our rural community sites to make sure they have the people they need to help you stay healthy. If there are gaps, we fill them using our network of providers. You’ll also be glad to hear that our five-year average for physician turnover is just 2%; much lower than the national rate of 6.8%. We look for kindred spirits when hiring new physicians, people who are committed to our approach to quality and patient care.

We’re also considered progressive in how we approach your care. In addition to your physicians, you’ll also occasionally see advanced practice nurse practitioners or physician assistants for primary or specialty care. They have many years of experience and extensive training in graduate school. They work closely with doctors as colleagues and coaches and approach medicine from a holistic perspective. That holistic approach is what ACA is trying to make standard – better preventive and collaborative care. That keeps costs down, keeps you healthier and helps the entire system care for more people.

Next time you hear about the impending doom and gloom, let’s keep a level head and get the facts. ThedaCare will be with you today – and tomorrow – wherever you need us to be.