Treating trauma and avoidable health conditions are some of the most expensive ways to manage health—and they don’t start until someone is already suffering.
Research shows that high-quality primary care leads to significantly better patient health and lower costs.1 How? It helps patients keep health issues in check before they become serious and costly and helps prevent unnecessary hospitalizations.2 But what does high-quality primary care entail? Certainly, an established, trusting relationship with a primary health care provider is vital. But excellent primary care goes a step further—many steps, in fact.
We believe excellent primary care should include:
- 24/7 access to care
- Mental and behavioral health services
- Integrated care for multiple, chronic conditions
Here’s how we’re doing our part to promote high-quality, low-cost primary care.
- 24/7 nurse advice line. Is an illness serious enough to warrant an ER visit in the middle of the night, or can it wait until a doctor’s visit in the morning? Specially trained nurses give our members the advice they need—potentially avoiding expensive, unnecessary care.
- Telemedicine offers our members 24/7 access to board-certified physicians, all from the comfort and convenience of their homes. In addition to offering the right care at the right time for the right cost (a flat fee or typical office visit cost), it helps overcome any transportation barriers.
- Care managers are dedicated health care professionals including nurses, social workers, dietitians and behavioral health specialists. They proactively reach out to members who are living with a complex health condition to help them coordinate care and connect them with the resources they need.
- Investments in organizations that train the next generation of health care providers. We’re not just offering solutions in the here and now. We’re looking to the future. By investing in teaching programs like the UNC Physician Assistant Studies program, we’re training tomorrow’s health care providers and increasing access to primary care where it’s needed most.
There’s more to do. But we’re excited about the impact these investments have on our customers and the communities in our state.