Doctors Seeing Patients In Groups

The Denver Post: "Jeff Wilson saw a doctor recently about his high cholesterol — and five other patients with the same problem came to his appointment. It was a 'group visit,' a growing trend in health care that allows doctors to reach more patients and patients to get more face time with their physician, even if they have to share it." 

Patients "said they got far more information than in a typical, 10-minute one-on-one appointment. ... until recently, for-profit insurance companies weren't reimbursing doctors when they deviated from the one-on-one appointment. Now, through a project involving five of Colorado's big insurance companies and 17 doctors' offices, physicians are getting paid for seeing more than one patient at a time." Medicare and Medicaid will reimburse for group visits "as long as a physician spends at least a minute or two with each patient" (Brown, 5/6).

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