Why offer group visits to promote wellness?

Well-organized group visits provide better access at lower costs.

Research indicates group visits can also provide an improved quality of care and a higher level of patient and physician satisfaction.  They empower patients and also the physician and staff. Group visits allow for more time for education and relationship building. The group format provides an ideal venue for patients with chronic conditions to join together to learn about their diseases and make incremental changes that will improve their health.

In our patient population, the group visit model is congruent with some of the facility activities.  Therefore, they give the facilities an opportunity to incorporate them into their existing activity schedule, providing a 3-way win for facilities, the patients and providers.

What are group visits?

There are several models for group medical visits. The Cooperative Health Care Clinic concept, which was developed by Kaiser Colorado, as well as the High Risk Cohort model developed by Masley et al., are the basis for this guide, though the proposed model below is tailored for our elderly patient population to have a balance of process and cognitive learning. Group visits include a group educational session plus most components of individual visits, sometimes including one-on-one medical evaluations conducted by a physician or nurse practitioner.

What are some group visit topics?

  • Heart Health
  • Lung Health
  • Gut Health 
  • Sleep & Health
  • Pain Relief
  • Bone Health
  • Brain Health
  • Hospitalizations
  • Your Legacy
  • Laughter & Health

Are group visits charged like regular visits?

Yes.  Kaiser Permanante has been implementing this model of care for many years.   Please see the attached Group Visit Payment and Confidentiality form.

How do you ensure patient privacy in a group setting?

Sharing personal information in a group is completely optional.  In order to facilitate such sharing, we urge confidentiality from every attendee.   We also ask all attendees to review and sign a Group Visit HIPAA notice.

What are the ground rules that guide each group?

  • Privacy: “Please do not share others’ personal stories”.
  • Respectful Listening:  “Please listen quietly and please don’t interrupt while others speak. There will be a time for more open sharing”.
  • Non-Judgement: “Please with-hold criticism or judgement of others during your responses or sharing”.
  • Intention for increased well-being: “We are here to focus on how to increase wellness rather than only the healing of illness and suffering.  We are here to address not only the needs of the body, but those of the mind and spirit as well in our care of the whole person”.

What is the ideal set-up for a group visit?

Regardless of the number of attendees, group education and process is best facilitated when everyone is seated in a circle.

Is the group visit good for every patient?

The group visit model is best for patients who are cognitively able to process information, can hear, and those who are able to sit and participate for at least an hour. This means that our patients with moderate to severe memory loss or who are very debilitated or ill will not be well served in this setting.

How frequently is the group visit offered?

Our goal is to provide a group visit once every 4-6 weeks at many of our facilities.