TransforMED is sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) in which it plans to change the entire healthcare system. Dr. Joseph F. Mambu started his practice as a small family doctor in 1976. Then he sold his practice to a local hospital but in 2001, Mambu opened his own practice. In the beginning of this month his practice was selected to participate in a demonstration project, called TransforMED. Mambu said he wanted it to have a traditional feel with the 21st century technology. The AAFP plans to test and validate a new and enhanced model of patient care investing $8 million. Dr. James C. Martin is a practicing family physician in San Antonio, and board chairman of the academy's TransforMED project.
The model features eight core elements including eliminating barriers to care, using advanced information systems, focusing on quality and safety and exploring new methods of sustainable reimbursement. Martin said that with this model one need not wait for 8-12 weeks but can see a doctor on the same day. The doctors will be well informed about the national protocols and treatment guidelines and real-time results from diagnostic tests. The patients can interact with the doctors through e-mail conversations or can have group discussions. But Martin says that the research laboratory will be used to determine the success of the TransforMED model.
TransforMED will provide primary-care practices with the tools and consulting services needed to implement the new model of care charging a nominal fee. Dr. Larry S. Fields, president of the AAFP and a practicing family physician in Ashland says that this model will ensure quality, save people's money and provide better health outcomes. The academy selected the 36 practices from among more than 300 applicants for its two-year national demonstration project. Mambu said that he uses Internet-based billing and scheduling. The TransforMED model, he said, creates an environment in which doctors can work more efficiently and patients are happier.