Floriamed’s specialty is high quality, affordable healthcare through telehealth. We help lower the cost of healthcare for organizations and individuals. And we provide better care that costs less. But how can better healthcare cost less? Well, that’s what this page is all about. But in short, top quality care, healthier patients, and lower medical costs are all one in the same thing. And that thing is doing medicine right. At Floriamed we feel that the potential gains of doing healthcare right are substantial and largely untapped.
Floriamed’s focus is on better care as defined by America’s leading experts in healthcare quality, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). The NAM guides us to cut waste and provide healthcare to as many people as possible. And to us, that sounds like a mandate for lower cost healthcare. Also, there are a number of other ways the NAM guidance lowers costs.
For instance, telehealth providers often talk about how they save you money by preventing unneeded trips to costly emergency rooms. And Floriamed online care does that. But this page is also about the unique benefits that Floriamed provides. It’s about how pushing hard for better care results in industry low healthcare costs.
No Bloat, No Frills, No Waste
At Floriamed, we crafted a lean, simple, self-serve system that puts patients first to make our telehealth better care. Big business, big money, wasteful spending, and unneeded, high-tech glitz are the telemedicine norms. This trend distracts from what science is saying about quality healthcare. We focus on the science to provide a secure and reliable service that lowers costs by improving the quality of your healthcare.
Floriamed cuts the waste from healthcare by focusing squarely on our mission. That mission is not about increasing profits. It’s about improving healthcare by complying with the science of quality care. So we have cut everything that does not improve quality.
For instance, visits are exclusively between patients and their healthcare providers. That is, no one else need be involved. And, the process of starting a visit is quick and easy for both patients and providers. What’s more, there is no need for patients to register or login.
We made it easier for patients and providers to come together because experts agree that doing so improves healthcare quality. And as a result, it costs less to deliver a telehealth visit. Thus, improving quality created lower cost healthcare.
Floriamed visit prices are at industry lows because our focus is on quality. And unlike most other services, our prices are significantly lower than primary care office visits. As a result, overall costs are even lower because patients will often use us instead of an office visit.
Nurse Practitioners Create Affordable Healthcare
Floriamed healthcare providers are nurse practitioners (NPs). So does more affordable healthcare come from NPs getting paid less than doctors? The answer is not exactly. As a matter of fact, NPs and doctors usually get paid the same for a telehealth visit. But nurses are unique in that they can lower healthcare costs by providing visits that have better value.
Economics of Better Value Telehealth
Nurse practitioners offer better value because they can afford to give patients more time per visit. That is to say, their yearly pay scale is significantly less than that of a doctor. As a result, NPs can still make their yearly pay scale by spending more time with each patient and having fewer visits. Longer visits improve quality of care, in effect, adding value to each visit.
Profit interests that pay salaries often admonish healthcare providers to see more patients per day. And providers decry this because it lowers the quality of their care. However, the telemedicine industry usually pays providers by the visit. Thus, there’s a temptation for providers to hurry through visits in order to see as many patients as possible. And some do just that.
At Floriamed we seek out nurse practioners who, above all, are dedicated to quality care. We seek healthcare providers that will take the time needed to properly advocate for their patients. As a result, visits are longer with added value and higher quality.
So exactly how does more time with a healthcare provider improve the quality of a visit? And how does a higher quality visit lower healthcare costs? The answers to these questions come next.
Informed Patients Create Lower Cost Healthcare
Patients who are not familiar with how healthcare works have more health problems than those who are. And poorly informed patients are also spending a lot more on healthcare. For instance, experts estimate that poor health literacy costs our economy from $106-$238 billion a year. And of course, patients, families, and organizations are paying that bill.
For example, we all lose money on the common cold because of low health literacy. Now, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, we pay a total of about $40 billion/year for the common cold. That cost would drop if people better understood how healthcare works. Whether you pay your part of this bill out of pocket or with insurance, better health literacy means you pay less. And don’t forget, that’s just part of the larger bill of $106-$238 billion that we all pay because of poor health literacy.
So how does this work with the common cold. Well, usually colds can be self-managed. But many patients are not familiar with proper self-care for the common cold. Yet those that are, use doctors and medicines less. And they also pass the cold and flu to others less. As a result, co-workers, family, and friends get sick less. And all in all, the result is lower healthcare costs when people use proper self-care.
So how do patients get familiar with self-care for the common cold? And how do they gain health literacy and get to know how medicine works? The answer is nurse practitioners.
Nurse Practitioners Create Informed Patients
Floriamed’s focus on quality healthcare led us to nurse practitioners (NPs). That’s because we find that nurse training creates providers who are naturally inclined to comply with the quality guidance from the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). And we think this guidance is a clear requirement for both high quality telehealth and better informed patients.
For instance, the NAM requires that healthcare be patient-centered to meet their quality standards. Basically, that just means healthcare should be all about the patient. Now, the patient-centered idea has always been a central theme in nursing. And it is a key part of the formula that NPs use to help patients gain health literacy.
For example, nurse training emphasizes advocating vigorously on behalf of patients. To accomplish this, NPs think of their patients as more than just a medical case. And thus, they speak with them about more than just their medical issues. That is, they take the time to get to know their patients so that they can do a better job helping them.
The NAM quality guidance clearly makes this point. They say that healthcare providers must respect each patient’s preferences, needs, and values. And of course, to do that, providers must take the time to get to know their patients. Traditionally, the skill of knowing your patient is central to both nurse and NP training. Properly advocating for patients requires it. And it’s this skill that gives NPs an advantage in helping patients gain health literacy.
Nurse practitioners are trained to form working relationships with patients which help promote patient education. And they are specifically trained as educators and communicators who who focus on health literacy. As a result, their goal is to help patients avoid poor medical outcomes and avoidable expenses that too frequently occur with common health issues.
For example, consider self-care for the common cold. As mentioned above, self-care results in patients who get sick less, pass the disease less, and use healthcare services less. So Floriamed NPs make it a priority to teach patients how to use self-care for the common cold.
But their efforts don’t stop with the common cold. The same lessons apply to the flu, COVID, and any number of other viral and bacterial infections. They continuously talk to patients about how not to catch them and how not to pass them. And they tell them how to handle the diseases so they recover faster. Their goal is to create a patient population that handles things in the way they themselves do when they face disease. That is, the smart way.
Floriamed NPs provide education on every visit. Patients learn how to handle common medical issues that reoccur. They learn the specifics about their ongoing medical condition. And they hear about how to deal with the medical system. This diverse and continuous teaching is designed to slowly create a smarter and thus healthier population of patients. And a byproduct of this process is more affordable healthcare.
Better Health Means More Affordable Healthcare
Better health and affordable healthcare are results that matter. And as we’ve seen, smarter patients are healthier and better health lowers costs. But there’s more to the story than health literacy. It’s is also about better health. That’s because, in the end, it doesn’t matter how patients get healthier. Better health always results in lower cost healthcare for everyone.
It doesn’t really matter how people pay for healthcare. That’s because health insurers would have to charge more if everyone was sick. And they should charge less if everyone is healthy. And of course, out of pocket payers will pay more if they’re sick. So, no matter how you look at it, better health and lower cost healthcare always go together.
That said, improving health requires high quality healthcare. Unfortunately, America’s healthcare quality is not as good as it should be. But in response, doctors and scientists are working to improve our healthcare.
Quality Care Creates More Affordable Healthcare
Quality guidance issued by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) covers a number of areas where we need to improve our healthcare. In one such area, they point out that medical treatment must be backed by evidence that it’s both safe and effective. That is, there must be some proof that treatments work and are safe.
So how do healthcare providers know when there’s proof? The answer is medical protocols. Protocols guide providers to use treatments known to be safe and effective. But unfortunately, providers do not always follow medical protocols correctly. And absurdly, even the NAM’s healthcare quality guidance suffers from underuse.
Cost of misused medical protocol
The most talked about example of poor protocol use is the incorrect prescribing of antibiotics. The story of overprescribed antibiotics is shocking. According to experts, perhaps one-third to one-half of antibiotic use is unnecessary or inappropriate and thus in conflict with medical protocols. And the awful results of this are higher cost healthcare and tens of thousands of avoidable deaths.
For instance, antibiotic use is a leading risk factor for getting a Clostridium difficile infection. This bacteria kills nearly 30,000 people each year. And 30,000 deaths means that many more people than that get sick with this infection every year. The end result is many needless deaths from from inappropriate use of antibiotics. To speak nothing of the higher healthcare costs.
Antibiotics also create resistant bacteria that are hard to treat. Such resistant bacteria sicken two million people per year and cause a minimum of 23,000 deaths. This problem also adds $20 billion to our healthcare costs and $35 billion in lost productivity each year.
There are countless other examples of incorrect use of medical protocols. And the price we all pay is in lives lost and higher cost healthcare. Yet to make things better, all we need to do is follow the NAM quality guidelines. In this case, that means making sure healthcare is safe and effective by following the protocols more carefully.
Medical protocol and nurses
Medical protocols are the rules by which healthcare providers practice. But needless to say, good medicine cannot be done by cook book. There are a huge number of rules that fit together in endless ways. And the job is very complex, to say the least.
So to do the best job, providers must show great attention to detail. That means they must study constantly to keep up with the ever improving rules of medicine. And they must also have a mind to follow rules with care.
This article discusses a number of ways that nurse practitioners (NPs) improve healthcare quality and, in turn, lower costs. And now we discuss one more. That is, their ability to carefully follow medical protocols. And again, this ability comes from nurse training.
Nurses are not trained to be independent champions of health. Instead, their training teaches them to work as a team. Traditionally, a nurses job includes taking instruction and following the rules carefully. Doing things right and by the book is emphasized in nurse training. So you can expect nothing less from a modern NP.
Among the unique skills that NPs possess, following medical protocol with great care is perhaps one of the most important. That’s because following protocol diminishes incorrect treatment that causes waste, disease, medical complication, and death. So of course, following protocol makes patients healthier and creates lower cost healthcare.
Nurse Practitioners Create Quality HealthcareThe common goal of Floriamed NPs is to create a community of patients with the best possible health. And as already discussed, the many unique things they do to improve their patient’s health, also create affordable healthcare. Even though this occurs in many different ways, the result remains the same. That is, good health and low cost healthcare go together.
At Floriamed, we seek out NPs that are committed to the art and science of care. Care is the core of nursing. And for nurses, care is a technical term as much as something heartfelt. Care is what makes nurses such strong patient advocates. They are, in fact, experts in care. And that expertise is what makes Floriamed possible. That expertise is what makes affordable healthcare that’s better care possible.
If you’d like to hear more about affordable healthcare that’s better care, please contact us.