How does a clinical physician maximize time and effect when you pretty much give the same information over and over to patients? One answer given at Winter Clinics was Shared Medical Appointments.
Byron Haney MD, of Family Healthcare of Ellensburg (WA) provided an eye opening talk on the effectiveness of grouping patients together to deliver their health care. Yes, this is legal and its encouraged by CMS as part of Patient Centered Medical Home models. In effect, you provide 90 minutes of care to all 5-10 patients you have in the room and can bill each of them for their visit based on what you would have provided to them individually. Patients love it and feel like they got well more than an individual appointment; physicians love it for efficiency and effectiveness.
The outcomes he shared blew everybody away: no pre-diabetics in an SMA converted to diabetes in seven years, weight loss across the board, moving diabetics to controlled status. Although he practices in a primary care setting, Dr. Haney said the same opportunities could be applied in other clinical settings. To see a copy of his presentation and a couple other popular ones last weekend, check out these links.