The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that approximately 84 million American adults—more than 1 out of 3—have prediabetes. Having prediabetes puts you at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. With November being National Diabetes Awareness Month, you can imagine why I’d want to bring attention to your A1C levels. By lowering your A1C levels you can help reduce the risk or intensity of any diabetes complications.
For those who may not know, A1C is one of the primary blood tests used to diagnose Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and then, when diagnosed, used to gauge how well you’re managing your diabetes. The A1C test is also great for determining the likelihood that someone will develop diabetes.
Here’s how it works. Once your blood is drawn it is used to measure how much sugar is attached to the hemoglobin, a protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. The higher the percentage, the higher your blood sugar levels, and the higher the risk of developing diabetes or an increase of complications.
There are several ways to get your A1C down. You can start by making some small adjustments to your everyday lifestyle to help you reach a healthy A1C number and avoid diabetes complications. Here’s 3 proactive changes to get you started.
- Create a diabetes management plan with your doctor which should include your medication list, target blood glucose levels, and a plan on how to correct low blood sugars.
- Track what you eat. Most foods, aside from lean proteins, contain some sugar. By learning how to balance and spread out carbohydrates evenly throughout the day, you can maintain healthy A1C levels.
- Get active and get others involved. It is easier to adopt to new changes if you have someone to motivate and keep you on the right path to a more active lifestyle.
It’s ok to go off track a little bit, as we’re all human, but try to be mindful as your health depends on it. To create a diabetes management plan or to discuss your A1C levels, schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor.
Something that is always talked about in Direct Care is the doctor-patient relationship. But how can patients get to know their doctor on a more personal level? Asking questions is one of the best ways to ensure you and your doctor are on the same page and a great way for you to get to know your doctor on a more personal level.
Meet Dr. Kimberly Jones-Mudd, you can call her Dr. Jones. She joined R-Health Ewing last month as a Board-certified Family Physician. You’ll find that Dr. Jones enjoys partnering with her patients to help them achieve their best health, and prefers to take a holistic approach incorporating mind, body, and spirit when creating a plan of care. But, to ensure Dr. Jones’ patients really know her, we asked 10 questions that you most likely always wanted to ask your doctor, yet never did.
Q: How did you end up going into medicine?
Jones: My decision to become a family medicine physician was a calling. Those who know me well will say I spoke of becoming a doctor in elementary school. I looked at other options after graduation from undergrad, but nothing gave me the same fulfillment. I feel compelled to serve others, help people lead healthy lives, and provide the assistance to help with healing when illness occurs.
Q: What would you be doing if you hadn’t gone into medicine?
Jones: I’d probably considered law. I was a Political Science Major.
Q: What job would you be terrible at?
Jones: IT, research, or anything that lacks day-to-day human interaction.
Q: What is one stereotype about doctors that you’d like to put to rest?
Jones: I would like people to know that not all physicians are judgemental and while we act as guides in offering care, the patient has autonomy in making decisions.
Q: What is your favorite TV show?
Jones: All things Hallmark. If someone were to turn on my TV at any given point, it would most likely be on the Hallmark Channel.
Q: What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?
Jones: I wouldn’t call it a hobby, but I have always wanted to learn sign language.
Q: Do you have any pets or kids?
Jones: I have a 6-year-old daughter and a dog.
Q: How different was your life one year ago?
Jones: My life has been stable since my daughter was born. It just gets busier in juggling her extracurricular activities.
Q: What are you most likely to become famous for?
Jones: I have no desire to be famous. However, I hope when people think of me, professionally and personally, they see my desire to help others as the thing that motivates me.
Q: Who inspires you to be better?
Jones: My daughter, because I want to serve as a role model for her.
To learn more about Dr. Jones, visit https://www.r-health.md/dr-jones/.
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 29, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — R-Health and Pareto Captive Services (“Pareto”) announced a partnership to bring enhanced primary care to Pareto’s clients (“captive members”). R-Health and Pareto, both based in the Philadelphia area, recognize the need to provide innovative solutions to tackle ever-rising healthcare costs facing employers and individuals.
R-Health is a national leader in enhanced primary care, supporting or managing over 40 practices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Pareto forms and manages employee benefit group captives that allow medium-size employers to mitigate the year to year volatility of self-insuring their health benefits. Nationwide, Pareto has more than 600 captive members, constituting more than 150,000 covered lives.
Through this new partnership, Pareto captive members will have access to R-Health’s growing number of Direct Care practices. In addition, the two companies plan to open four new practices in the Greater Philadelphiaarea in 2019. These innovative Direct Care practices will deliver enhanced primary care to Pareto captive members in the region, as well as other employers.
R-Health and Pareto are also partnering to launch two locations in the Kansas City area in September 2018, serving Pareto captive members in that market. With captive members located nationwide, Pareto and R-Health plan to launch other locations as dictated by need and growing demand.
“At R-Health, we believe that independent, relationship-based primary care is the foundation of transformational healthcare delivery,” said Mason Reiner, R-Health Co-Founder & CEO. “By partnering with Pareto, we can leverage our unique combination of clinical expertise and technology to provide patients with consistent access to their personal doctor, while achieving significant cost savings for employers through clinically integrated care delivery and innovative data analytics.”
“Pareto saw that our captive members needed a better primary care option for their employees, yet for most medium-sized employers, on-site clinics are not financially feasible and, often, can lead to further fragmented care,” said Andrew Cavenagh, Pareto Captive Services’ Managing Director. “By partnering with R-Health to create near-home practices, we can fill that void by offering better access to primary care and more time with their physicians. These offices offer convenient and comprehensive primary care to employees and their family members.”
Enhanced primary care can lower healthcare costs in many ways, including:
- Reducing unnecessary emergency room and urgent care visits.
- Better managing and therefore reducing the cost of chronic and high-risk conditions.
- Offering longer appointments, that allow for more time for the patient and provider to interact.
- Providing referrals to high-value specialists.
- Increasing compliance with care plans by making many prescriptions available on-site.
- Reducing costly complications by identifying and supporting high-risk and at-risk individuals.
R-Health delivers more effective care and a better patient experience – all at a lower cost. We partner with employers, unions, insurance companies and TPAs to offer primary care that’s truly collaborative. This is accomplished through the traditional core values of convenient, personal primary care; our innovative data analytics and patient engagement platforms that streamline care, delivering better outcomes, lower costs and a refreshing patient experience; and the proactive management of chronic conditions. R-Health delivers value-based healthcare two ways: through R-Health Direct Care, our innovative enhanced primary care model, and R-Health Accountable Care, our commercial and Medicare ACOs. For more information, visit https://www.R-Health.md.
About Pareto Captive Services
Pareto Captive Services forms and manages employee benefit group captives. The captives mitigate the year-to-year volatility and risk that is inherent in self-insurance, thereby allowing employers to focus on reducing healthcare costs. Members of Pareto captives gain access to an exclusive suite of risk management and cost-containment initiatives to help them in their quest to provide affordable and effective healthcare to their employees. Pareto continually seeks new and innovative solutions to employers’ healthcare benefit dilemmas and when solutions do not already exist, Pareto creates them. For more information, visit https://www.paretocaptive.com.
SOURCE Pareto Captive Services
Primary care matters, plain and simple. Though in recent years it seems to be undervalued, primary care remains in fact a central part of everyone’s long-term health. How big of a role? According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), areas with higher concentrations of primary care physicians are linked to lower death rates for cancer, heart disease, and stroke, while also leading to lower level of hospital admissions.
Primary care also helps lower the costs healthcare presents. In addition to fewer hospitalizations, there’s less duplication of treatment as well as better use of technology, all cumulating into 33% lower healthcare related costs.
Primary care reinforces the doctor-patient relationship allowing for a “continuity of care.” You’re able to establish a relationship and build upon it year after year while receiving tangible benefits like acute, chronic, and preventive care, along with a wide range of other services. R-Health’s Direct Care Model allows for this multi-faceted, consistent approach.
- Family Care – We’re able to see and treat family members of all ages. Having this continuity and trust allows the full scope of one’s health to put into context, especially how it may relate to the rest of the family. Having a strong relationship within the family helps the doctors with insight knowledge, given them understanding on health patterns that you may be facing, and can even save you from unnecessary tests.
- Unlimited Access – Having a doctor to take care of the family is great, unless they’re unavailable. That’s not a problem with R-Health’s Direct Care model due to the 24/7 unlimited access available for patients to their doctors. Phone calls, a secure mobile app, and a member portal are just a few of the ways you’re able to stay in contact with your doctor no matter where you’re at.
- Convenience – Not only are there no co-pays, but with the use of our data and technology systems, coupled with the care coordination, we remove the barriers to the doctors and our doctors help members navigate a complex health care system seamlessly.
Great primary care allows you to see the bigger picture. A doctor who can take care of all your needs, both long-term and short-term. And a model of healthcare that saves costs, but not at the expense of the doctor-patient relationship or the diverse health network that’s available.
Last year at this time, I was still working at a traditional fee-for-service practice. I was seeing countless patients, trying to squeeze as much as I could into my day, and would sit down at the end of the day to begin returning patient calls. By the time I called my patients, I would usually get their voicemail and thus would trigger a seemingly never-ending game of phone tag.
When I joined R-Health, I was excited about the opportunities provided by Direct Care. One of the most intriguing features of R-Health practices was the enhanced doctor-patient communication through a HIPPA compliant mobile app that is downloaded to both the physician’s phone as well as the patient’s. Patients can use the app to communicate non-urgent medical questions at any time. As part of my initial visit with new patients, I explain the app and how they can use it to communicate with me and my Health Guide. I have had patients reach out to me through the app, not only with medical questions, but have received follow up information after an appointment, photos of rashes, and pictures of medication bottles to verify names and dosage strengths.
And the best part – it eliminates the countless rounds of phone tag. Patients send me a message using the app, I return their message, and if needed, we can schedule a time that is convenient for us both for a call or an appointment.
After-hours, I can triage their care and often schedule them to come into the office that same day or next day. My Health Guide, our medical assistant, will often come in to the office the next morning and find that I’ve added patients to the schedule from our after-hours app communications.
You may be asking yourself, but how do you have any down time if patients can reach you 24/7? What I’ve found to work best is that I schedule certain times in the evening to check the app and respond. I am clear with patients that the app is for non-urgent issues, and they should reach me on my cell phone for any urgent medical concerns. With this approach, I can maintain a great work-life balance while still being proactive and accessible to my patients.
I’ve also found that when patients know they can send me a message at any time, make an appointment with me the same-day or next-day, and generally have better access to me – they are more at ease. By building a trusting relationship, one with mutual respect and appreciation, I find I rarely receive inappropriate calls or messages during evening and nighttime hours.
Practicing in Direct Care – and with assistance of the mobile app – has given me back control. I can practice medicine the way that I think is most effective. I can spend the time I need with my patients, whether that’s face-to-face in the office, via text message on our secure app, or over the phone.
Dr. James Bancroft is a family physician at R-Health New Brunswick.
The growth of Direct Care continues to spread across the country as more and more people begin to realize its positive influence on healthcare delivery. As awareness has grown, so too has R-Health – as one of the leaders of the industry, R-Health continues to expand its footprint in New Jersey by not only offering unprecedented relationship-based access to doctors, but curating a model that challenges the episodic, transactional, and volume-maximizing traits that presently exist.
Last year, Hint, a software organization that helps streamline administrative tasks for Direct Care practices, released a study on the practice trends of Direct Care, or Direct Primary Care. Hint reported that the average yearly patient panel growth for Direct Care practices is growing at over 8% per year. With more time with the patients due to the elimination of many administrative tasks, Direct Care is great for both the doctor and the patient.
R-Health follows right along these lines. Not only does R-Health offer individual memberships, but after signing a groundbreaking contract with the State of New Jersey, it is able to offer Direct Care as a benefit to over half a million New Jersey school and state employees and their families, completely free of charge.
With such an historic agreement, R-Health saw major growth over the past year. R-Health expanded to seven locations across New Jersey, three which came during the final quarter of 2017. Just like our approach to healthcare, our sites are committed to quality, excellence, and convenience. With comfortable assessment areas along with some of the latest technology in medicine, our locations offer the convenience of a one-stop-shop for all primary care needs whether you’re a patient or doctor. To see a list of all of locations, please visit our website.
Recognized as game changers, in 2017 R-Health received Philadelphia Business Journal’s Healthcare Innovator award for our efforts to reinvent the healthcare industry. Other news outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Politico, and NJBIZ were just a few others who graciously acknowledged the hard work and commitment towards the success of this model.
In closing, this past year has been a great year for Direct Care, and an even greater year for R-Health. Now having laid a strong foundation in New Jersey, R-Health is driven to expand to more markets and develop new relationships with other businesses more than ever. As a tight knit group that puts our doctors and patients first, excitement ensues for what’s to come and we hope that more physicians join our clinical team to enjoy it with us.
Last fall, Risa Morris went to the State’s Passport to Benefits event to learn more about the new benefit offerings. While there, she met the team from R-Health and learned that she could join an R-Health doctor’s office for free as part of her state health plan. She was intrigued and she signed up for the R-Health Ewing location, which was set to open in January.
When she heard about R-Health, Risa was excited but she also kept thinking there had to be a catch. Once the Ewing office opened in January, she realized there really was no catch and she was astounded by the level of care she received from Dr. Protter and the rest of her team.
“R-Health is a far superior doctor’s office,” said Risa. “My R-Health doctor helps me manage everything related to my health. She calls me just to answer my questions and I can e-mail with her anytime. It feels great to know that I have access and can just keep in touch on the little things.”
Risa also likes that she doesn’t have to try to remember everything that Dr. Protter tells her during each appointment. She can access a full overview of everything discussed at her appointment through the electronic patient portal and if she still has follow up questions, she just e-mails or calls Dr. Protter to review. Says Risa, “It’s refreshing that I don’t have to keep track of everything on my own.”
One of Risa’s favorite aspects of her R-Health doctor’s office is the ability to get her blood work done onsite, saying, “It’s so nice to have everything done in one place.”
With R-Health, Risa feels like she has her own concierge doctor, but without the added access fees, and of course, with no co-pays. “I used to wait hours to see my doctor and I felt like my time wasn’t as important as theirs. With R-Health, I never wait more than 5 or 10 minutes to see my doctor – it’s a miracle.”
When asked to sum up her R-Health doctor and experience, Risa said “I love Dr Protter. She is caring, warm and friendly, yet very professional and detail oriented. I have recommended her to all my friends. R-Health is the best thing to happen in my healthcare tool kit.”
Risa also thinks it is a great thing the State of NJ is offering Direct Care for those with state health benefits, noting “R-Health is far superior to other doctor’s offices.”
Every year, the Philadelphia Business Journal recognizes titans of the healthcare industry that are not only innovative in practice, but transformative with their impact on their industry’s ecosystem. Game changers as they call them, and this year, R-Health was awarded as one of the prestigious HealthCare Innovators.
In recognizing R-Health, the Philadelphia Business Journal noted R-Health’s innovative model of healthcare delivery, which focuses on expanded access to primary care alongside better patient care, lowered costs, with higher patient and physician satisfaction, as opposed to the traditional model of maximizing billing. Not only recognized for Direct Care, R-Health was also acknowledged for our Accountable Care division, which offers commercial and government value-based healthcare delivery.
The entire R-Health team couldn’t be more proud of this award which recognizes the company’s hard work, dedication, but most importantly, our commitment to helping members achieve their best health. We would like to thank the Philadelphia Business Journal for this esteemed award, and hope for many more in the future.