Remaking Rural Health: A KET Special Report

Focus on Prevention: The Bale Center for Prevention

Founded by Phillip Bale, MD, a primary care physician in Glasgow, Ky., the Bale Center for Prevention provides “predictive medicine,” meaning it helps patients assess their own risk for major health problems.

“Thirty to fifty percent of cardiovascular events are sudden and unexpected. And, for far too many people, the first indication that they have a problem is sudden death. I find that disturbing for a disease process that we know is preventable and/or reversible,” Dr. Bale says.

Using a four-step process of consultation, evaluation, education, and activation, the staff at the Bale Center provides patients with an in-depth analysis of risk factors that may lead to poor health outcomes, along with an individualized treatment plan based on those identified risks.

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“One of the things that we do is that we take the time. And we spend much more time with each individual and being sure they understand the disease process and why they need to be compliant with whatever recommendations we are making,” Bale notes.

Bale and his staff believe that in order to change the health status of Kentuckians, the focus needs to shift from acute care to preventive care. According to Bale, current insurance reimbursement precedures do not fully support the type of preventive medicine the Bale Center offers, effectively discouraging other physicians from following his lead.

“In this country, we spend a lot of money putting out fires rather than preventing them. Our payment system is in desperate need of reform, and until we have significant payment reform, it’s going to be hard to imagine that we can really change the system that we have,” he says.

 

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Remaking Rural Health: A KET Special Report is a KET production, Laura Krueger, producer, and is funded, in part, by a grant from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.