Monday, August 12, 2013

Shared Patient Appointments

With the worsening doctor shortage, some medical centers are resorting to "shared patient appointments".

Blogger-physician Dr. Wes explains:
As health care reform kicks in to high gear, a new innovation in health care delivery is being touted at Cleveland Clinic: shared patient appointments. On the surface, this idea seems so efficient and social as patients with similar medical problems sit around in a group therapy session that masquerades as health care. After all, with the large influx of new patients to our health care system underway and the limited health care personnel resources available, the push for such a model was inevitable.

But many Americans are also noticing another disturbing trend: higher insurance premiums to offset the cost of those who do not have sufficient resources to pay for their care.  While the reality of our higher health care costs demand that the added costs be paid by someone, I suspect most of those who will be paying higher premiums didn't think they'd have to "share" their physician appointments with others...
BTW, these become more popular in Massachusetts after the imposition of Romneycare, as described by the Boston Globe in 2008.  Some patients found it better than waiting a long time to see a doctor, others have serious problems with the lack of privacy.

Looks like the rest of the country is starting to catch up to Massachusetts.