The Future of Primary Care
Shantanu Nundy, MD, serves as the chief medical officer at Accolade, an employee engagement and care navigation platform, where he oversees the company’s clinical strategy and solutions to improve health outcomes for individuals and families. Nundy also practices primary care at Mary’s Center, a federally qualified health center serving a large immigrant community in Washington, D.C.
For the first question, we’re recommending that clients take a population health perspective and segment that population by varying levels and types of need. Nearly every client has members who are getting sick with COVID-19—how can clients support them with the physical, emotional, and financial impact of the condition on themselves and their families? But there are multiple other populations to think about as well: members with multiple chronic conditions that need to be actively managed but who can’t get in to see their usual doctor; members with behavioral health conditions that may get exacerbated by the emotional stress of sheltering in place; and part-time or contracting members who may not have health insurance and who may be at greater risk of getting sick and exposing others.
To answer the second question, experts tell us we will be dealing with COVID-19 for the next 12-18 months at a minimum. The challenges of mitigating COVID-19 when workplaces and the economy are back to near full swing will be different than they are today. In addition, there will be new testing and treatment options rapidly becoming available. Clients need a holistic strategy for engaging their workplaces with targeted information and simplifying the even more complex healthcare system that will soon be in front of us, so their members can be healthy and productive as well as have partners who are flexible and can adapt quickly.