If you’re looking for a creative way to spend more time with chronically ill patients, a group visit program might be a good fit for your practice. Under the group visit (or “shared medical appointment”) model, each patient has a brief individual visit (often just vitals and a quick interview with the provider), and then shares the rest of their visit with a group of other patients who are managing the same disease. Each patient sits in on their fellow patients’ visits — and, of course, vice versa.
Group visits aren’t for every patient, but many people respond very positively to the opportunity to share their physician time with others facing the same challenges. The best part: everyone ends up spending an hour or more with the doctor. (Even though most of the time is not focused on any single patient, everyone typically ends up feeling that they’ve had more access, and more opportunity to share and get their questions answered.)
Group visits have been more commonly started by primary care practices for conditions like diabetes that require lots of patient engagement and many visits — but any specialty with a population (or multiple populations) fitting that description can potentially benefit from starting a group visit program.
To learn more about what’s involved, visit our article links above.