I am a primary care provider in a small private office. A long-term patient of mine, 32 years of age, was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. His insurance is now one I do not participate in. Until his recent diagnosis, he visited annually and paid out of pocket. He wanted to stay with me for his care. I realized his needs were most likely more than he could afford. He would need to privately pay for my services, which would now be more frequent, his medications would be expensive, and he would need more of a multidisciplinary team to meet his needs.
- Long-term patient/healthcare professional relationships can feel like friend/family relationships.
- The healthcare provider must always keep the patient’s present healthcare needs above the long-term relationships.
- When a long-term patient has health changes or coverage changes, be open, be honest, inform the patient of the need for increased services for the long term, what that could entail and what that could cost. Offer and encourage to refer on to another healthcare provider who can best meet the patient’s needs.
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