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Primary Care Made Better

It’s easy for patients to get annoyed in a doctor’s office. You wait weeks to get in, and then you get ten minutes with a doctor. If there’s follow up, you’re on your own. Good luck…see you next year!

That model of assembly-line medicine reflects how insurers pay: by the visit, and by the task. That model makes patients crazy, and frustrates health care providers, too. No one wants to work this way. Yet everyone has been forced into this model because it’s the only way to be reimbursed by insurance companies.

That’s why North Ottawa Medical Group chose to apply for a new type of reimbursement program, called Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (or CPC+). It is the outgrowth of a Medicare (government program for the aging population) pilot program, but benefits all patients within the medical group—not just the aging.

What does that mean? Let’s say you’ve got some rather complicated medical conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure. Your doctor says you need regular glucose tests and blood pressure checks. You’ve also been advised to change your diet and work in a little exercise.

In a traditional care setting, you would get a piece of paper telling you what to do. But in our practice, thanks to CPC+, we have redesigned our care system. Now you’ll have a care manager, who can help make sure you follow up on your to-do list and help you get any other appointments or information
you need. That care manager might call in a pharmacist to help answer questions about your medications, and maybe even set up an appointment with a dietitian.

In other words, you have a team of people helping you manage your health. You’re no longer responsible to “go it alone.”

“When we applied for CPC+, we knew we would have to change everything about our infrastructure,” says Connie Gnegy, Executive Director of Physician Practices at NOCHS. “We’re accepting lower fees for visits in exchange for incentives for providing the highest quality of care and service. We’re using those incentive dollars to provide the ‘extras’ patients need. Our physicians are thrilled about it, because this new system will allow them to practice medicine the way they want to do it… with their focus squarely on patient outcomes.”

CPC+ is not an automatic designation. Physician practices must apply, and be chosen by the Center for Medicaid/Medicare Services. North Ottawa Medical Group is the only practice in Grand Haven or Spring Lake to have successfully made this switch and one of less than 3,000 practices across the country to have done so.

“We are transforming medicine,” Connie states emphatically. “Our patients and our doctors are going to have a radically different and better experience. It will benefit the community for years to come.”

So what are the benefits of CPC+ to our lakeshore community?

  • We want Medicare patients! Most physician practices will only accept a limited number of Medicare patients because the reimbursements do not cover costs. Now that we’ve redesigned our infrastructure, we are able to see more Medicare patients.
  • We’re attracting doctors. Doctors prefer to practice medicine this way, and they are excited to join a group that is structured to achieve better patient outcomes. That means we can serve more patients right here, the right way, close to home.
  • Better outcomes for all patients. We designed this system in response to Medicare, but all of our family and internal medicine patients will benefit.

If you are looking for a primary care physician, call us to get patient-centered, comprehensive care.
Internal Medicine: 616.844.4701
Family Medicine: 616.846.2640

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