I have often wondered how many of the changes we are asking of the system, like a PCMH model or foster continuous relationships from inpatient to outpatient, are really markers of what we think primary care providers should have: a great relationship with their patients. What I've appreciated about the discussions these past few days have really been around how we can not only make care more patient centered but also create meaningful points of connection for the patients AND the providers. As both a question and a proposed answer to many of the "How do we finance this?" questions: How can we speak up and give policy makers proposals for creating a system that fosters these connections, instead of one that cuts them short? How can we create incentives for being more personable while impacting the greatest number of patients? How can we create the system that fosters provider-patient relationships previous generations fondly remember?
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