In recent articles, we’ve discussed how Value-Based Health Care must help consumers make good decisions. Equally as important, CMS is now emphasizing how physicians should serve as navigators for their patients, providing information and guidance.
Let’s take a closer look at how the triad of primary care physician, specialist consultant, and patient can effectively engage in a process that improves Value through better outcomes and lower cost. To focus on the shifting role of primary care physicians (PCPs), we use “physician navigation” to describe PCP actions to coordinate care for their patients. To emphasize continuity of care at stake for the patient, we describe specialty physician involvement as “consultation” rather than “referral.”