Improving healthcare access for older patients

Improving healthcare access for older patients

In the May 2024 issue of Texas Medicine magazine, several Texas primary care physicians discuss using innovative approaches to improve access and outcomes for older patients. Among them is Gowrishankar Gnanasekaran, MD, MPH, Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at ARC Senior Care Pflugerville. In this article, Dr. Gnanasekaran – Dr. G to his patients and staff - said that ARC Senior Care reflects a deep commitment to patient-centered care and comprehensive support for older adults. "Geriatrics is all about high-quality care, and, as physicians, we all want our patients to get high-quality care," he said.

Patient-centered care

Dr. Gnanasekaran prioritizes understanding patients' concerns and tailoring care to their needs. During patient visits at ARC Senior Care, he follows what he called "the 90-second rule". "Any time I see a patient, I first let them speak," he said. For the first 90 seconds, "I do not interfere or interrupt when they're talking."

Following this rule allows him to assess the patient's concerns and priorities – for example, getting well enough to travel to a loved one's wedding – before categorizing them into certain medical diagnoses.

Dr. G also goes beyond the traditional model of primary care by offering frequent visits to Medicare and Medicare Advantage patients. This proactive approach allows him to manage multiple chronic conditions effectively and prevent unnecessary emergency department visits and hospitalizations.

Coordinated care and Medicare

Dr. G highlights the importance of coordinated care, especially for Medicare and Medicare Advantage patients. He stresses that Medicare reimbursement models are shifting toward value-based care, incentivizing high-quality and cost-effective services.

By closely coordinating care among specialists and other healthcare professionals, he ensures that his patients receive holistic support that addresses all aspects of their health. As each doctor takes on a portion of the patient's care, "geriatrics connects all the dots," he said.

The future of care for older patients

The demand for this type of comprehensive care is rapidly increasing, evidenced by the ARC Senior Care clinic's accelerated growth. "It has been pretty steep and rapid growth since our [April 2023] inception," he said. Dr. G's dedication to providing high-quality, coordinated care aligns with the evolving landscape of Medicare reimbursement models. As Medicare transitions towards value-based care, physicians like Dr. Gnanasekaran are well-positioned to deliver the kind of personalized, efficient care that improves patient outcomes and reduces healthcare costs.

Make an appointment today

If you or someone you know over the age of 55 would like to make an appointment with Dr. Gnanasekaran at ARC Senior Care Pflugerville, call the clinic at 512-990-4260 or do so online with ARC MyChart or ARC Help Me Book.

Tags: Healthcare Access, Patient Care