Time is money

Interesting study from Vanderbilt University.  Paying physicians to take more time with patients.  I guess it would make sense if there was a correlation between improved patient outcomes and the length of the visit.  

A small number of physicians at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, are taking part in a study to find out if it’s more cost effective in the long run to pay doctors to take more time with each patient. Since the introduction of managed care, providers have felt financial pressure to fill their daily schedules, and industry reports have shown the average primary care physician spends about six minutes with each patient. The new study is investigating if doctors who see patients with high blood pressure, congestive heart failure or diabetes could offset long-term costs to insurance companies and employers by spending more time with the patients, who might stay healthier as a result and need fewer medical visits.

Six minutes sounds about right.  Conveyor-belt medicine.

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  • nasmac

    I agree. As a patient I often feel that I am being rushed through. I do not feel that connection to a lot of physicians that I think a patient should have. We are talking about the most intimate parts of a persons life, and yet you are brough in and shipped out very quickly. I have seen tornados take more time.

  • Anonymous

    My husband has been to every Urologist in the local metro area – until we finally stumbled across an outspoken Dr. who told us that Urologists are not trained like family doctors – They have no skills to properly communicate with their patients – and out of all Doctors it would seem to me that you would want to avoid any feelings of discomfort in the field of Urology…I pray it changes for the sake of the people who go through such torment.

  • Scott

    You must have ran into a bunch of “bad” doctors. All doctors trained in the United States learn patient interviewing skills in medical school.