How Virta Extends the Practices of Primary Care Clinicians
Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes now affect more than 100 million Americans and represent 20% of healthcare spend in the United States.1 As recent as 2010, 90% of individuals with type 2 diabetes were treated by primary care clinicians, making the demands on primary care practices greater than ever.2Dr. Denise Bilbao’s practice is no exception. She finds that she is talking about diabetes or prediabetes with every third patient she sees. In Virta, she found a consulting specialist who could extend her practice and help offer real solutions to her patients living with type 2 diabetes. We had the opportunity to hear first hand why she values Virta’s approach.
Substantial time savings
Working with patients with type 2 diabetes requires frequent conversations on nutrition and monitoring of medications. However, even in ideal circumstances, the current model of primary care simply isn’t built for these interactions. The best-intentioned primary care clinicians still find it difficult to offer the detailed discussions and medical care that are required. Virta’s continuous remote care model solves this issue, and Dr. Bilbao has noted the time savings for her practice, stating, “It’s a real add to the practice of a primary care physician. It’s taken a huge amount of work off of my plate...Virta adds back time into my day because it removes the conversations around nutrition and medication adjustments.”
Unprecedented levels of support
A referral to a specialist should extend primary care seamlessly, providing a complement to the primary care clinician’s practice while offering medical care that improves patient health. Virta works closely with referring clinicians and provides foundational diabetes care, including de-prescribing medications and patient education, motivation, and monitoring required for diabetes reversal. As Dr. Bilbao explains, “The level of support I get from Virta is somewhat unprecedented in my experience as a primary care doctor working for a decade in several different clinics...being able to hand off a patient who is a very desperate diabetic on insulin and really see significant changes in their weight, mood, energy levels, and medication—it’s something I have never experienced before.”
Real results for real patients
Many primary care clinicians find it frustrating that they don’t have better solutions to offer their patients. Patients, of course, find this frustrating and difficult, too. Virta provides something entirely new to offer to individuals living with type 2 diabetes. As a partner, we offer a source of differentiation for primary care practices, and as Dr. Bilbao cites, our results energize referring clinicians. “Here at last is something that actually works to help people lose weight, control their diabetes, prevent diabetes, and reduce their medicines...Here was something at last where the clock was being turned back, and that’s very energizing as a clinician.”We are grateful to Dr. Bilbao for her continued partnership. To hear additional stories like Dr. Bilbao’s as well as those from our patients, visit our testimonials page.For clinicians who are interested in referring patients to the Virta Clinic, visit our physicians page.