Dr. Christopher Crow is a founding doctor of Plano’s Village Health Partners and creator of Legacy Medical Village, a healthcare complex designed to increase access, convenience, and quality of care. He is an award-winning physician, among a select few repeatedly named best doctor in family medicine by both D Magazine and Texas Monthly. Dr. Crow has also received recognition from the Texas Academy of Family Physicians. His practice was named "Practice of the Year" by Physicians Practice magazine and was recognized by the U.S. Congress for its revolutionary use of technology to improve healthcare. Interact with Dr. Crow on Twitter @DrCCrow.

As Prescription Drug Abuse Soars, Doctors Take Action

Consider the following statistics from the Centers for Disease Control. Drug overdose deaths have tripled in the last 25 years and, of those, 75 percent involved prescription pain medicines, primarily opiates. In addition, half of the prescription drug-related deaths involved mixing multiple medications and alcohol. The trend of prescription drug abuse has been on the rise for the past two decades: – In the past 13 years, there has been a 300 percent increase in sales of opiate pain medications. – In 2008 alone there were more than 15,000 deaths that resulted from an overdose of prescription painkillers, more than heroin and… Full Story

Managing a High-Risk Health Population

This is the last in a series of editorials around the value of care coordination in the primary care setting. Previously, I’ve discussed the importance of managing transitions in care, such as hospital or emergency department discharges, as well as improving the quality of care using evidence-based measures. While these are both very important issues, identifying and improving the health of those most at risk for incurring healthcare costs in our population may be the most important issue we face. The first question to address is why it’s important to measure risk. Most of us understand that our nation has… Full Story

Managing Transitions of Care to Improve Quality and Reduce Cost

In my last editorial, I discussed the new models of care that are moving the needle from volume to value in healthcare. I highlighted the ways care coordination in the primary care office can provide improved health, cost control and high patient satisfaction. One of the most immediately impactful ways mentioned was managing patients during “transitions of care.” Transitions of care can be defined as patients who are moving to or from one level of care to another; the most common transition being when a patient goes in and out of an emergency department, or a hospital admission and subsequent… Full Story

Coordinating Care In The Primary Care Office

Lately medical homes, accountable care organizations and population health have been three models of care receiving more and more attention. There seems to be some confusion about what these terms mean and how they can be used to improve our healthcare industry. I have recently spent time educating patients, insurance companies and brokers, and, most often, self-insured employers about these models. All of these stakeholders are very interested in the move from volume (fee for service) to value for financing healthcare. They are hopeful that these models will increase the health of their constituents while slowing down the ever-rising costs.… Full Story

Mental Health: The Elephant in the Room

Healthcare costs are the single most important factor to gain control of for our country to remain solvent in the future. There are many opinions about how this should be done and on which part of the healthcare dollar we should focus. These include reining in hospital costs,  managing chronic disease,  focusing on disease prevention, limiting fraud and reducing administrative waste and unnecessary testing, to name a few. All of these solutions are tangible items that can be measured, tracked and analyzed with data we have today. However, I would subscribe to you that those with mental health diseases pose… Full Story

Medicare and Medicaid Funding Must be Addressed

The election results provide direction for many areas in our country—including the future of healthcare. The healthcare plan put into effect during President Obama’s first term will continue, but what does this mean for America? In terms of rolling out the details of the healthcare reform law, it will likely stay on schedule with few changes, because of the Republican majority in the House and a Democratic majority in the Senate. The upcoming fiscal cliff will likely create some concessions in the law’s subsidies. There is no way to keep from falling off the cliff without addressing funding of Medicare… Full Story

Healthcare Reform: The Changing Patient Experience—and How Doctors Can Help

As the dust settles following the Supreme Court’s healthcare reform ruling, early provisions and preparation for full implementation in 2014 have affected how patients receive care and provided the medical community with many opportunities for our approach to patient care. I frequently get asked what I think about the ruling and the ACA.  Most people want a black or white answer. I generally tell them that it is way too broad to label it good or bad.  There are positive aspects, areas of concern and general opportunity for healthcare providers—especially those in primary care. Positive Changes As a family doctor,… Full Story