A letter from the Chief Medical Officer
We want to know that tests, treatments, and
procedures are necessary and beneficial.
At CHCR, our patient population grew by 8 percent in 2014. Our new dental and podiatry services at the CHCR Dental and Medical Specialty Center contributed to some of that increase. Patients who were able to get health insurance through the New York Health Plan Marketplace and Medicaid expansion also came to our center – many seeking routine health care for the first time in years.
With this increase in patient volume, there also has come a greater emphasis upon value. Our patients, insurance companies, and the federal government, which pays the Medicaid bills, expect good value for every health care dollar spent—as well they should.
That means more accountability for us as providers – and more responsibility for the patient, as well. We want to know that tests, treatments, and procedures are necessary and beneficial. To that end, our providers pay close attention to clinical measures for diagnosis and meaningful use initiatives—and we record the results.
For example, with every diabetes patient, we monitor and track significant indicators, including blood pressure, hemoglobin A1C readings, blood glucose levels, and lifestyle factors. We also focus on early detection of cancer and other diseases with regular tests, including mammograms and Pap smears. And we offer every patient – including our dental patients – rapid HIV tests with onsite counseling, treatment, and referrals for those who test positive.
As we see more patients – including many who previously could not afford routine health care – we have the opportunity to counsel patients about healthier lifestyles, and we can collect data that will ultimately guide our care.
In many ways, what we’re doing today recalls the way medicine was practiced 50 years ago when doctors had fewer drugs and diagnostic tools at their disposal and more time to spend with patients. While we do have a 21st Century toolbox, we also are learning that there’s no substitute for time spent getting to know patients. At CHCR, we strive to blend the best of both worlds by combining state-of-the-art care with that all-important human touch.
Rosalinda Rosario-Lipka, D.O.
Board Certified Family Medicine