Theme 5. Optimizing use of resources
In medical literature, group visits have been described as a highly effective method of delivering healthcare to patients, especially those with chronic diseases such as coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure and diabetes. They are a more efficient way for health practitioners to see patients. Patient satisfaction is high for patients in group visits. Participants have the opportunity to learn from each other. Behavioural changes that otherwise might not occur have been observed in group visits. We started group diabetes visits over 5 years ago and they have enabled our practice to provide high quality care to over 225 of our diabetic patients. Measured outcomes have been equal to and better than our one on one visits. In addition, patients have been more satisfied in a group setting. Patients have learned from each other and we have had success stories with smoking cessation, insulin starts and lifestyle modification where the family doctor was not successful, often for many years. Finally, these visits have been revenue neutral to revenue positive when compared to one on one visits (even with the loss of Q040A bonus codes which are only available with individual visits).
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