Heather Zacker on Obstacles Preventing Greater Physician Collaboration

Physicians may have a hard time relinquishing their own piece of the healthcare puzzle, whether due to financial incentives or inadequate care coordination, said Heather Zacker, MS, senior director of Care Alliances of Joslin Innovation at Joslin Diabetes Center.

Physicians may have a hard time relinquishing their own piece of the healthcare puzzle, whether due to financial incentives or inadequate care coordination, said Heather Zacker, MS, senior director of Care Alliances of Joslin Innovation at Joslin Diabetes Center.

Transcript (slightly modified)

How do team members work together on one patient without duplicating work or stepping on one another’s toes?

That’s a really interesting question, and I think in a small setting, let’s say a PCP practice or a multispecialty practice, it’s probably easier than in a large health system. So if you have an arena where people are not reimbursed for more, more, more, and there’s respect and ability to work at the top of your license, those are 2 really important features.

But, when you look at it at the system level, again, look across the delivery system and you’ve got the inpatient piece, you’ve got the outpatient piece, you’ve got the patient endocrine practice, you’ve got the primary care piece, you’ve got the community piece, schools, nurses, supermarkets, et cetera.

Without a population health approach that is really driven by payers and by regulators, I think that there’s still incentives for the different providers to be holding onto their piece. Either through the financial incentives that may exist or through the concern for their patients because of lack of knowledge of where are they getting cared for, are they getting the education and support that they need.