The multi-disciplinary team care approach is new for most providers and the way our healthcare system is organized, it is difficult to arrange. Worse, the primary care physician is always short of time – time to listen, time to think, time to give really intense preventive care and time to coordinate the care of those with chronic illnesses. Time is the missing ingredient to optimum care.
This lack of time results in less than adequate care, less than adequate prevention and skyrocketing costs. Simply providing the PCP with sufficient time (i.e., the need to see fewer patients per day in return for the same total income) would vastly improve care and reduce overall costs.
Chronic illnesses not only last a lifetime and are difficult of manage but are also the diseases that are driving the high cost of care. These costs can be brought down and can be brought down quite substantially through a better approach to patient care, one that gives major attention to disease prevention and intensively coordinates the multidisciplinary team approach to care for those with chronic illnesses. But for this to happen, PCPs need more time with these patients.