AAFP evaluates HintOS technology as a potentially essential innovation for supporting the direct primary care model and reducing physician burnout
In order to better understand and address the root cause of physician burnout, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has launched an Innovation Lab that leverages technology from Hint Health to free physicians from tedious administration that detracts from patient care. As the leading provider of membership management, billing, and employer direct contracting infrastructure for direct primary care (DPC) and membership-based providers, Hint Health’s HintOS Membership Management solution automates member enrollment, administration, eligibility, billing, collections, practice affiliations, and more.
“The family medicine experience is based on a deeply personal physician-patient interaction, but today’s fee-for-service (FFS) model and many technologies used in practice have eroded the experience rather than enhanced it. As part of its mission, the AAFP finds and promotes solutions that improve the experience of its 133,500 physician and medical student members and the communities they care for”, said Dr. Steven E. Waldren, VP and CMIO at AAFP.
AAFP’s Innovation Lab with Hint Health will consist of multiple phases. Phase 1 evaluated DPC practices using HintOS as an alternative to traditional FFS models that require large overhead, interactions with insurance, little time with patients, and more downside risk. The DPC model is based on prospective payment via patient membership, and solutions such as Hint’s provide a platform to manage uniquely relevant administrative elements, allowing physicians to focus on patient care.
The results of Phase 1 show that among the 10 family physicians who participated, 100 percent reported they had “ample time” with patients, with visit lengths increasing from an average of 15 minutes to nearly 45 minutes. Physician satisfaction with their practice more than doubled, and when asked if they would recommend Hint to a colleague, the median rating was 9.8 out of 10. Physicians also reported that under a DPC subscription model using HintOS they were able to care for more patients who were uninsured or underinsured. AAFP will soon publish their detailed report of these findings.
“HintOS addresses the operational requirements of the DPC prospective payment model, which frees physicians from the FFS treadmill and enables them to focus on their patients,” said Dr. Waldren. “Through this process, we further validated myriad benefits, including that DPC offers improved access and time with physicians and is an avenue to expand needed primary care services. The impact of this study suggests that prospective payment, such as seen with DPC, may be the ideal model for family physicians, and that HintOS membership management may be an essential innovation to support the DPC model.”
As DPC awareness and adoption grows, family physicians play an instrumental role in driving change. Giving them the tools to do their job, and do it well, can have significant positive impacts, and there’s evidence of increased interest; in fact, Hint has experienced 43 percent growth in DPC practices year-over-year.
“If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that physicians are more often overwhelmed and under-supported despite the essential services they provide to the community,” said Zak Holdsworth, CEO and Co-Founder, Hint Health. “It’s time they have a way to get off the fee-for-service treadmill and find a better quality of practice and life. With DPC and HintOS, providers don’t have to worry where their next paycheck comes from, so they can provide the type of patient care that they set out to do early in their careers. It’s truly a win-win for everyone. We appreciate this opportunity to collaborate closely with the AAFP and look forward to expanding our relationship.”
To learn more about AAFP’s Innovation Lab, please visit AAFP’s website.