International Medical Graduates Doctors (IMG's)

The Changing Landscape Of Family Medicine

With the changing landscape of family medicine, healthcare is clearly at the forefront of contemporary U.S. politics. Due to the recent implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act,  the impact is being felt on both the patients and the medical industry alike.

Regardless of proponents and opponents to the new healthcare legislation, there is one particular component of the law that could well revolutionize healthcare in the United States. It is called ‘preventative care,” which has largely been practiced by those who make regular or annual visits to their doctor for a standard physical. In addition to a more preventative care approach, physicians are seeking out more integrated methods to manage patient care with tools like Wellcentive and other patient centered programs.

It also appears that the true beneficiaries of this healthcare focus will be women and children for the most part, but will affect anyone who is genetically predisposed to develop typical family illnesses, such as congenital coronary disease.

Family Healthcare

The family doctor has been the primary treatment model for many years in the U.S. health system. Many of those general internalist family physicians have traditionally been located in small community clinics. This has helped the doctor develop a solid relationship with the patient, which is the hallmark of any good medical professional. After all, we are talking about an individual’s health, and sometimes may include an entire family.

But, the availability of new technology, such as medical monitoring devices, means that preventative care can possibly be much more effective for every member. Early detection of any potential disease is always the best initial treatment option.

New Technology and New Facilities

This emerging situation also requires medical equipment that the small clinics may have difficulty offering. This suggests that the trend in the near future will be to centralize treatment facilities into larger operations. As long as the medical professionals can still foster those good working relationships with the patients, then this movement in the marketplace can be a real positive.

Health Insurance for All

This is also a new dynamic for the healthcare industry, especially for emergency room care. Out-of-pocket payments for a doctor visit can get expensive quickly, but under the new healthcare act, everyone theoretically should have some type of health insurance, so trips to a “no refusal” emergency facility should be reduced.

Of course, universal coverage also means universal participation, and many individuals will make a point to utilize any mandated healthcare policies. Deductibles will still apply on actual medical emergencies and surgical procedures, but doctor visits are all covered with a co-pay amount. In addition, individuals who were previously denied healthcare coverage by the insurance companies will now have insurance even when they have a preexisting medical condition.

There have been some problems with getting the full service medical system established in the beginning, but the confusion will all be reduced as patients and doctors begin understanding what treatment options are now available, especially in preventive measures.

The new legislation means that no one will have to maintain a medical condition without professional medical treatment, which may be the greatest positive consequence of all. Ultimately, everyone is seeking the good results intended in establishing universal healthcare coverage.

Nadine Swayne is a freelance writer and learning more about the medical system while her husband recovers from a stroke. As the face of healthcare and family medicine evolve, so do the the concerns of many Americans. She contributes this article as a way to provide clarity to some of these concerns.

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The Changing Landscape Of Family Practice Medicine
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