Moving to a whole person model of care

June 12, 2019 / By L. Gordon Moore, MD

We’re living in a time of paradox in health care. With the increasing capacity to identify people at risk for bad outcomes, some are exploring fascinating innovations in healthcare delivery, yet we also live in a payment and policy environment that can stifle innovation and worse, make it hard to do what’s right for people.

In a conversation recorded for the Inside Angle podcast, Dr. Melissa Clarke describes work in Washington D.C. that reinvented care for people with substance abuse disorders. Individuals with struggling with substance abuse who also have medical issues often have two separate healthcare delivery systems: one working with them on the substance abuse, one focusing on the medical issues. This separation can lead to disjointed care.

Dr. Clarke describes the journey of a substance abuse delivery system that expanded services to cover chronic medical conditions to better meet the needs of the patients they serve. Innovations including the use of telepsychiatry were funded in part by grants, which highlights the gap between care delivery innovations that help people and payment policy that is lagging sometimes decades behind delivery system improvements.

L. Gordon Moore, MD, is Senior Medical Director, Clinical Strategy and Value-based Care for 3M Health Information Systems.