At apree health, we strongly believe in advanced primary care (APC), which is why we use this approach in all of our care centers. Our APC model provides patients with convenient, whole-person care by wrapping each person with an integrated, multidisciplinary care team empowered by a best-in-class data and technology foundation.
And we’re thrilled to share that we have many (many!) examples of how our approach leads to better health outcomes for those we serve.
For example, last year a 45-year-old male named Craig* visited one of our care centers seeking relief for low back pain. After a thorough evaluation, his apree health provider referred him to our physical therapy partner nearby. But the appointment didn’t stop there.
Because at apree health, we don’t solely treat the immediate issue at hand—we make sure to address all aspects of the patient’s health.
After writing Craig the physical therapy referral, the provider also asked him to schedule his annual wellness visit before leaving the care center that day. Craig fulfilled this request. This visit, which he returned for two weeks later, included a full panel blood draw, which typically tests cholesterol levels, complete blood count (e.g., white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets), basic metabolic levels (e.g. glucose, calcium, sodium), and more.
From his lab results, the provider discovered that Craig had an A1C level of 7.3. A1C is a blood test that measures a person’s average blood sugar levels over the past three months. Craig’s A1C level meant he had diabetes, which was a new diagnosis for him. In addition, Craig was overweight according to his BMI and had heightened cholesterol levels.
The provider spoke with Craig about two possible pathways forward. He could either start making significant lifestyle changes or begin taking a statin medication for his cholesterol and a diabetes medication. It was up to Craig, and he decided he was fully invested in making the lifestyle changes. So, the provider referred him to an in-house health coach.
Over the next few months, Craig met with the health coach around six times. By the time he had his follow-up appointment with the provider, he had lost 19 pounds—bringing his BMI down to the normal range—his cholesterol had normalized, and his A1C was at 5.8, meaning he had excellent control of his diabetes after his weight loss and lifestyle changes.
At no point did he start taking either of the medications.
Though Craig had originally visited our care center for one acute issue (his back pain), we were able to successfully engage him with his whole health by getting him to schedule and attend his wellness exam—an exam that ultimately changed his health trajectory.