Objective: To examine patient and staff satisfaction, billing charges, and programmatic feasibility of shared medical appointments (SMA) in a nurse practitioner-managed heart failure (HF) clinic in a community cardiology practice.
Methods: Twenty patients were scheduled among four SMAs for this pilot study. All aspects of a usual clinic appointment were utilized during the SMA, but an additional 20-minute teaching session was presented. All patients completed a satisfaction questionnaire. The office staff completed satisfaction questionnaires about the SMA. Billing charges, cancellations and missed appointments without cancellation for SMAs were compared to usual clinic appointment days.
Results: Satisfaction was high among patients and office staff. Rates for no-shows were similar for SMAs versus usual appointments (15% versus 5.5%), but there were fewer cancellations among SMAs (0% versus 28%). This may be a reflection of the personalized appointment reminder calls that were made to the patients scheduled for SMAs. Billing charges were not significantly different for SMAs versus usual appointments.
Conclusion: SMAs are a feasible option in a community cardiology practice.
Keywords: Cardiology; Heart failure; Nurse practitioner; Patient education; Patient satisfaction; Revenue; Shared medical appointment.
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