Providing The Medicare Seniors Deserve
As my parents age and cope with chronic disease, I see first-hand how the healthcare system fails them and countless other seniors. Whether it’s polypharmacy (my father-in-law takes 17 medications daily) or abysmal care coordination of vulnerable patients (my father’s impaired memory leads to many follow-up orders not communicated between doctors), our healthcare system has lost its way. Adding insult to injury, we spend more on healthcare than any other country in the world, yet our outcomes rank dead last among industrialized nations.
So how did we get here? For 50 years, our healthcare system has operated under a fee-for-service model—we pay for what we collectively use. Although well-intentioned, a fee-for-service system inherently incentivizes overuse and promotes expensive, hospital-based emergency care over affordable, community-based preventive care. Volume, in this model, has become synonymous with success—more patients per hour means more profit. So doctors are increasingly overworked and clinics have trended towards managing healthy patients like me instead of complex patients like my parents.
Fortunately, all of this is about to change. Led by Medicare, our country’s healthcare system is undergoing a major business model transformation from fee-for-service to value-based care, where quality of care is rewarded more highly than quantity. Our team of physicians, technologists, and Medicare experts launched Calyx Health, a doctor’s office exclusively for Medicare seniors, to fully align with this new business model; our mission is to build the healthcare system our parents deserve and our country urgently needs.
Optimizing our operations for value-based care allows us to better serve the unique needs of an aging population. For starters, our patients’ visits are longer because we recognize that their health needs are more complex. Our clinical team of internal medicine and geriatrics specialists are proactive about preventive care and maintenance, so we can intervene with patients before they end up in emergency rooms or hospitals. We host fitness sessions, mindfulness workshops, and computer classes at our clinic because we understand that individuals’ well-being contributes as much to their health as disease management. Even our flagship clinic is designed to better accommodate patients with ambulation challenges, cataracts, and hearing loss. For our parents and everyone else’s, we’re excited to bring this innovative approach to senior care, starting right here in Alameda.
Abhas Gupta, MD is the co-founder of Calyx Health, a doctor's office exclusively for Medicare seniors. To join the Alameda practice or attend an upcoming information session, call 510-323-4410 or click here.