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April 29th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Are healthy doctors better doctors?

(CNN) – Picture this: A medical facility where doctors are not over-worked, waiting rooms are not jammed to capacity, and patients are thrilled with the quality of care they receive.

It's an experiment that's leaving some health care critics speechless in Seattle. Elizabeth Cohen reports for the final installment of our special series, "Prescription for Waste."

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Persiaa

    I've had Group Health for 40 years, and have always been satisfied with my care. I've had a few illnesses, and a couple of broken bones-all well cared for at a reasonably low cost.

    May 5, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  2. Carolynne Harris

    I've been a member of Group Health since the age of 14. I am now 65. When we lived in other parts of the country or out of the country we were able to put our membership on hold. Each clinic has a council with members which meets every couple of months. We are kept informed on clinic matters.

    We have our own pharmacies, can call in prescriptions and have them mailed to us free if we chooses, all our personal records, labs etc are on line so if we are away from home we can access them. And yes, our doctors do email us back. For information we call in and talk to consulting nurses or an on call team at our clinic.

    Group Health has always worked on preventive care, and patients feel confident they won't get un-necessary surgery.

    April 30, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
  3. scifigirl

    This report left out some very important details:
    who is paying for the 30minute appt? Are patients self-paying? If so- I would suggest that higher socio-economic patients tend to be healthier and more educated. If the patients seen by this medical group are cherry picked, best of best population- then the picture is skewed. The report did not give the viewer any evidence that patient outcomes have improved/ or are better as a result of 30minute appts; only that patients snd providers appear more satisfied. This report sounds like a commercial for concierge medicine. Happy patients or happy doctors is NOT the prime objective. Plus, the system has not enabled patients to be educated enough to know what is the standard of care and how to compare treatment options and outcomes of providers. Convenience/30min appts etc does not =good care.

    April 30, 2010 at 7:50 am |
  4. Thoughts on health care

    I'm so frustrated with health care that it will take a lot for me to ever go back. I'm starting to think that I might prefer to just die by myself and skip that mess.

    April 29, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  5. Thoughts on health care

    I don't think they should close the emergency room path for those of us that aren't getting what we need out of our primary. Doctor shopping when you are sick is probably not going to happen. People just want to get better, they don't want to fuss with health care much when they are sick.

    April 29, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  6. Thoughts on health care

    I heard something on television about reducing emergency room costs, but didn't hear it on this clip. Longer visits might help because there's a lot of miscommunication in a 15 minute doctor visit. One thing that I have noticed is that the physician perspective and my perspective are quite different on how these things should be structured. Going to the doctor isn't a linear process for a lot of people. I have found many times throughout life that I needed to escape from doctors that really weren't on the right path with me. The emergency room can provide the escape hatch, but lately they have decided that this is a path that should be shut down, and they try to send you back to your primary (who obviously wasn't working for you). It's not just the type of visit, but how the physicans actually treat. Primary doctors seem to want to run you through all of the cheaper, often less effective drugs until you come back so many times that you finally quit going or go to the emergency room. I don't think they should close that path. Interesting that they can usually hit it first time every time. (There's a word for what they are doing, but I don't remember it now. They simply wear us out. Makes more money for them. Keeps us sick longer. We have better things to do.) It might be something that insurance companies regulate. I would get rid of that thing.

    April 29, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  7. Carole Dickerson

    It's very hard to find an overweight doctor who smokes at Group Health!

    April 29, 2010 at 1:25 pm |