What if the doctor was the last step in the health care model.
What if patients had scheduled semiannual visits with professionals like dietitians, athletic trainers and physical therapists that focused on “prehab” instead of just rehab. The focus would be on living healthy and active lives and taking a proactive approach to their health and fitness. These visits would be relatively inexpensive so patients could be seen more often which would provide not only accountability but also motivation. Patients would LEARN how to care for themselves and instead of trying not to get sick, they would enjoy a higher level of function and fitness such that when the inevitable acute medical or orthopedic issue presents (infection, fracture, etc) the consequences are not devastating. They don’t spend 4 days in the hospital then a week at home recovering from the flu; or 3 days in the hospital and 2 weeks in rehab trying to return to an already debilitated “baseline function” after a hip fracture. People would be, in essence prepared for what life brings in the way of set backs because they are not just “healthy” but instead “fit and strong”.
We teach our kids to save money for a rainy day such that when the car breaks down, you aren’t stranded. We spend literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on insurance just in case something happens. Why don’t we put in the time and effort to be at our peak function so when the inevitable happens, we have a little extra in the tank.