Once upon a time in the City of Ashtabula, there was a great concern about the rising healthcare costs burdening the city’s budget. The city officials and healthcare professionals were determined to find a solution that would save money without compromising the quality of patient care. Thus, they embarked on a journey to revolutionize their health plan.
The first step taken by the City of Ashtabula was to mirror that of the local city school district’s health plan. This replication of health plans aimed to create a comprehensive and integrated healthcare model that would streamline processes and improve patient outcomes utilizing local doctors, pharmacists, and nurse patient navigators.
Recognizing the importance of proper primary care, the City launched Direct Primary Care for a free offering to all employees and family members, the ability to have a Concierge Primary Care Physician on call 24/7/365 with all the time in the world to provide patients great care and personalized services. These types of programs focused on education, regular check-ups, and early detection of potential health issues. By prioritizing preventive measures, the City aimed to reduce the number of expensive hospital visits and chronic conditions in the long run.
These innovative strategies had the buy-in from all unions under the health plan. This streamlined the care process, reduced errors, and eliminated the duplication of medical tests, resulting in cost savings. The City of Ashtabula ensured that patients received high-quality care. This focus on continuous education and improvement led to better patient outcomes and reduced the need for expensive treatments or hospital readmissions.
As the first year completed, the City of Ashtabula began to see and hear of remarkable results from their efforts. The healthcare costs for the city started to decrease, allowing them to allocate more resources to other essential services and initiatives. Patient outcomes also improved, as residents benefited from timely access to care, better coordination between providers, and increased emphasis on preventive measures.
The success of the City of Ashtabula’s healthcare transformation story has spread far and wide, inspiring other municipalities to follow suit. Hoping the City of Ashtabula and their courage will help others with a national movement to transform healthcare delivery, reduced costs, and improved patient outcomes.
And so, the City of Ashtabula has become an example in their small community on how to bring healthcare back to Main Street and not controlled by the misaligned financial incentives of Wall Street. We commend their management and union leaders for seeing it as the partnership it truly is.