Robert Winner

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Shared doctor visits.

The latest in cost reduction and lowering the wait time is to "share appointments".

Would you discuss your medical problems .... your appointment with a room full of "other people"?

  • Aug 31 2013: How would you know, or not, that someone in the group didn't have a serious contagion? What if there was someone you knew in the group? What if the doctor had something unfortunate to tell you?

    But maybe the bigger question is why so many people are so sick, so often, that it needs an effort like this.....
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      Aug 31 2013: I have never been to a group session and do opt know the pitfall or the safe guards. I would hope there are some considerations.

      Good question. I could guess at the rate of people going to the doctor ... I am sure there are stats out there. My question is ..... How any of those visits were necessary. All of the homeless, indigent, illegals, etc ... go to the emergency room because the law says they cannot be turned away. The point is are they emergencies ... the same goes for doctors ... how many of these appointments were really related to actual illnesses.

      With the news talking about overweight so much, I ask my doctor how many of his appointment were related to overweight .... he said a lot.

      There are bad doctors who take advantage of the system and also patients who take great advantage of the system. But you cannot ignore them ... what if one day they really are sick.
  • Aug 17 2013: Shared appointments makes me think of sports physicals or military indoctrination. A bit dehumanizing and sort of violates the doctor patient confidentiality concept. Sounds to me like health insurance looking to cut corners at the expense of the patient/customer.
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      Aug 17 2013: Robert, I am going to observations here not facts. I am not so sure it is insurance driving this boat. Many of the local doctors have joined in a office that is under a hospital .... not in a hospital ... run by a hospital. We now have five doctors in a area that previously had two. Doctors now are on salary from the hospital. I would bet there is a quota for minimum seen per day. The group session could be a method to meet the requirement of the hospital. Insurance will foot the bill if seen individually or in a group.

      What we may be seeing is the hospitals gearing up for the clinics that are forth coming with Obamacare. I think that over time we will see these clinics move into the hospital structure and technicians and nurses manning the existing offices concerned with preventive and wellness clinics as referred to in the Obamacare documents.

      This is a WAG (wild guess). It only has merit if the hospitals are starting a survival mode operation based on what they see in their future.

      Insurance, hospitals, and doctors are all second guessing what is in their future under Obamacare and are now what I would call strange bedfellows.

      Just a thought .... could only defend it for two minutes max .....

      Thanks for the reply. Bob.
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    Aug 12 2013: Not sure what is the detail plan to make it workable !!!
    What about Privacy of Patient ?
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      Aug 12 2013: Salim, Look up ... shared medical visits ... on the web. It is a Wall Street Journal.com article that goes into depth about how this works.

      It seems to be gaining popularity. Say I have a rash on my arm. I can get a individual appointment in six weeks or a group appointment in three days or maybe less. I would try it.

      I may not want a group appointment for proctology ...nough said.

      The article explains it well. Be well. Bob.
  • Aug 11 2013: No and i don't see how anyone would ever want that it would be inpersonal and the doctor wouldn't be entirely focused on your problems.
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      Aug 13 2013: Charles, My doctors office informs me that by law he must see me annually to insure the prescription is still valid. This is what I heard so do not quote me. So he needs to ask me about five questions, have the vitals taken, and schedule me for a lab. I have no new issues. I can get in for a one-on-one in six to eight weeks or tomorrow at ten in a group. Say the prescription is for acne ... why not. If a person had a social disease like AIDS then of course it should be one-on-one. Even turn your head and cough could be done behind a screen for a standard annual appointment. Sports physicals could be on Thursday from 4 - 5 in a group for ladies and Friday from 4 - 5 for guys both as groups. This could be set up and coordinated with the school.

      IMO this could resolve the long wait in scheduling. Say football practice starts in two weeks. 100 boys will try out and must have a physical. You could have 100 individual appointments or A - M today and M - Z on the next day both at 4 - closing. That opens up a load of appointments for the office.

      I have had the same doctor for years ... we could meet at Denny's for lunch and decide if I need a appointment or not. I trust him to be professional and have the ability to focus on my chart, history, and tests. When I lose this confidence I will seek a different doctor.

      Group appointment are not for everyone or for all illnesses. But I do see where they could be good for both the doctor and the patient plus reduce the backlog for those who seek one-on-one.

      Thanks for the reply. I wish you well. Bob.