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Author: Annapolis Internal Medicine

AIM is pleased to announce our new Physician Assistant, Cara Herman!

Cara received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University in 2006. After working for couple of years as a research technician she decided to pursue a Masters of Medical Science in Physician Assistant studies which she completed at Arcadia University in 2010.  Since graduation, she’s worked in several specialties, including allergy/asthma, neurology/neurosurgery, and cardiology before ultimately practicing general medicine as a hospitalist at Anne Arundel Medical Center. The thing she loves most about her work is having an opportunity to educate her patients. When she’s not working she enjoys traveling, a variety of music, cooking, and baking. She lives in Crofton with her husband and twin daughters. (picture to come) 

Cara will be joining AIM effective 01/02/20.  She will be available to our existing patients for follow-up appointments, yearly exam’s, pre-operative clearance, travel consultations, hospital follow-ups, and well women exams.  Call us today to schedule an appointment with her! 

What is Health Care?

Is there is a difference between medical care and health care? There is.

Medical care is what physicians and other clinicians do every day with you in offices, labs, surgery centers, and hospitals. Titrating blood pressure meds. Checking blood sugar. Adding this medication on and stopping that medication. Heart bypass surgery. X-rays. MRI’s. All that constitutes medical care. In America, we do a lot of it and we are the best. Hands down. However, medical care probably constitutes only 10% – 20% of health outcomes.

Health care is a much broader idea of which medical care is only a subset and constitutes the remaining 80-90% of health outcomes. It incorporates other elements such as Social Determinants (the circumstances under which you are born, live, play, socialize, work and die), genetics, behaviors such as eating, smoking, exercise and drinking, and a myriad of other factors. All these issues may seem out of place in the context of a Primary Care practice but they matter more for health outcomes. And in this overall picture when considering infant mortality, the rates of chronic disease, mortality for certain demographic sections, and access to health insurance, the US does not do as well compared to other countries. True, the USA is much larger and much more diverse than other countries to which we are often compared, such as the Nordic countries or Canada but this just illustrates the challenge before us as a nation.

So how is Primary Care to engage with the rest of this Health Care paradigm?

First, we need to continue to do well what we have been doing well. We will continue to focus on making sure that the tests and procedures we recommend for you and the medications we prescribe to you are necessary and valuable for your overall medical care. We will continue to coordinate care among specialists and other players in your medical care. We will continue to try and improve access to high-quality medical care. All this we have to keep doing well and even continue to improve.

Second, we need to engage on a broader front. We need to help to connect you with resources or organizations that can help you with financial constraints. We need to continue efforts to improve counseling about smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, and nutrition. We need to develop and implement strategies to better help you if you have issues with substance abuse and mental health. The need is great.

Primary Care has a front line role in health care, not just medical care, and we will always be seeking ways to help you improve your health.

Annapolis Internal Medicine Participates in the MDPCP Program

Our practice is participating in the Maryland Primary Care Program (MDPCP), a state-wide initiative to improve primary care.

Giving Practices Extra Support to Help you Receive Better Care

Through MDPCP, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will give our practice additional resources to help us better manage your care. We hope to provide you the highest quality patient-centered care.

Additional Information for Traditional Medicare (Part A & Part B) Beneficiaries 

To help us provide you with the best care, Medicare will start sharing some of your personal health information with us and the State Designated Health Information Exchange (CRISP), to share with other health professionals providing care to you. This will provide us with a more complete picture of your health and allow us to better coordinate your care. 

Your Medicare benefits ARE NOT changing. Enhanced services covered by this program will not require additional cost-sharing for you. You still have the right to use or visit any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare at any time. Your doctor may continue to recommend that you see particular doctors for your specific health needs, but it’s always your choice which doctors or hospital(s) you visit.

Data Sharing Opt Out

If you want Medicare to stop sharing this personal health information, please contact 1-800-MEDICARE. A Health Information Exchange, or HIE, is a way of sharing your health information among participating doctors’ offices, hospitals, and care coordinators.