The Future of Medicine? Forget Private Doctor Appointments, Group Medical Visits are Coming

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The Future of Medicine? Forget Private Doctor Appointments, Group Medical Visits are Coming (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Jan 30, 2015):

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, around 10 percent of family doctors already offer shared medical appointments, sessions that bring together a dozen or more patients with similar medical conditions to meet with a doctor for 90 minutes. With pressure from the government and insurers to bring down the cost of care while treating the increasing number of people with health insurance, patients can expect group visits to become more common. “It’s efficient. It’s economical.

– From the Bloomberg article: Your Next Doctor’s Visit Could Get Crowded

Get ready, this is coming. While this trend was already happening before the passage of Obamacare, it’s not hard to imagine that private medical consultations could soon be a thing of the past for your average American serf.

Somehow I doubt members of Congress will be having group visits any time soon…

From Bloomberg:

In a typical doctor’s visit, you wait around for a while, get your vitals checked, and spend a few minutes alone in a room with a physician. It’s private and short. Some doctors, frustrated by a relentless schedule of 15-minute, one-on-one visits, are experimenting with appointments that are neither.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, around 10 percent of family doctors already offer shared medical appointments, sessions that bring together a dozen or more patients with similar medical conditions to meet with a doctor for 90 minutes. With pressure from the government and insurers to bring down the cost of care while treating the increasing number of people with health insurance, patients can expect group visits to become more common. “It’s efficient. It’s economical. It’s high-quality care when it’s done right,” says Edward Noffsinger, a California psychologist who created the model in the 1990s at Kaiser Permanente, the state’s largest health maintenance organization (HMO).

In a group visit, exams and tests are still conducted privately, but patients discuss their ailments in front of the group. The theory is that each patient can learn from the others’ experience, and doctors get to have a longer, more relaxed discussion instead of hopscotching to three or four exam rooms in an hour. “You have one appointment with 10 observers,” says Marianne Sumego, an internist at the Cleveland Clinic. “Patients are really getting the equivalent of 10 visits.”

They’ve already started with the hedonics. Incredible.

Here’s what is clear: Seeing several patients at once can be good for harried doctors’ finances. In 90 minutes, a physician might be able to complete five or six one-on-one visits. A group visit could allow doctors to see double that number or more in the same time, and medical assistants or nurses can take care routine aspects of care—checking patients in, taking vital signs, writing refills of medication.

Finally, the real reason for groups visits is revealed.

Often it takes a fair amount of promotion by doctors to get patients interested in exploring group appointments, which require them to sign privacy agreements. “Patients have a lifetime of expecting a one-on-one visit,” says Noffsinger. “We’re asking them to do something entirely different.”

Yeah they’re “asking” you now, but I suspect they’ll be “telling” you faster than you can say free healthcare.

Never forget, group doctors visits are what happens to a society with an increased standard of living. Keep telling yourself that.

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For other healthcare related articles, see:

Yep, You Guessed It – Obamacare Website Funneling Private Consumer Info to Private Companies

Video of the Day – Obamacare Architect Credits “Lack of Transparency” and “Stupidity of the American People” for Passage of Healthcare Law

ObamaFraud: GAO Study Finds Almost All Fake Applicants are Approved for Subsidized ObamaCare

Computer Security Expert Claims he Hacked the ObamaCare Website in 4 Minutes

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