A persistent issue facing healthcare providers is that the most effective medication for a patient can also be the most expensive. For example, infliximab (Remicade), which is used to treat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn disease, costs an average of $1,910 per patient, per month.
This high cost makes infliximab a good candidate for therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) to ensure that positive patient outcomes balance the expense to the patient, the insurer, and the healthcare system.
People often get involved with the Wellness Center in order to feel better and more energized at the end of a work day, when it’s time to return home to care for kids or handle other tasks—not to slump on the couch, says Bigelow. “It’s not always a case of wanting to lose weight. Sometimes it’s wanting not to get sick so often. To do more of what one may like—gardening, sports, hiking. Or to manage anxiety and depression.”
Increasing accessibility allows physicians to understand their patients better, states Gibson, who became interested in family medicine while talking with heart attack victims during her graduate studies. “After a heart attack, you can’t just say, ‘Here are your medications. We’ll see you in two weeks for your follow-up.’ Patients and their families are in shock. They need structured care that acknowledges who they are and what they value about their health.”