Sara Love, ND | OANP Legislative Committee & Policy Director for CCO Oregon
A recent study of patient-centered primary care homes in Oregon has announced that for every $1 increase in primary care expenditures on patient-centered, prevention-focused healthcare, there is a $13 savings to the healthcare system. In it’s first three years, Oregon’s primary care home program has saved the healthcare system $240 million.
Patient-Centered Primary Care Homes are health care clinics that have been certified by the Oregon Health Authority for having a variety of systems and care coordination strategies in place with the goal to improve healthcare outcomes. According to an Oregon Health Authority (OHA) fact sheet: “At its heart, this model of care fosters strong relationships with patients and their families to better treat the whole person. Primary care homes reduce costs and improve care by catching problems early, focusing on prevention, wellness and management of chronic conditions.”
Sounds very naturopathic, doesn’t it? Treat the whole person and Prevention – two of the core tenets of naturopathic philosophy.
Many naturopathic clinics have always provided the kind of high quality, prevention-focused, and patient-centered healthcare using a biopsychosocial approach that the conventional system is beginning to value. And indeed, many ND clinics have already taken the steps to be recognized by the PCPCH Program.
OANP encourages you to consider becoming officially recognized as a patient-centered home. As a recognized PCPCH, you may receive an alternative payment model of reimbursement, such as a tiered “per member per month” rate in addition to fee-for-service payments, for every qualified patient in your panel. There is also a growing trend of insurers beginning to offer members lower co-insurance if they see a provider in a primary care home.
Looking ahead, even faced with a looming budget shortfall, Oregon policymakers are still committed to advancing primary care. Through SB231, which was passed in 2015 and defines naturopathic physicians as primary care providers, there is a push to ensure that all prominent payers in Oregon are adequately investing in primary care, primarily through increasing payments to PCPCH recognized clinics.
See this Fact Sheet for key attributes of a PCPCH clinic, and you may find that you already offer a lot of what is required!