Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Shared Medical Appointment?
A Shared Medical Appointment is a 90-minute medical visit with your physician in the company of other patients and other health care providers. Private discussions and examinations are available, as necessary.
Is my visit confidential?
Patients and guests must sign a consent form agreeing to keep all information shared in a Shared Medical Appointment confidential. Patients are introduced by first name only.
Is the Shared Medical Appointment a seminar or health education class?
The Shared Medical Appointment is not a seminar, health education class, support group, or psychotherapy group. Rather, it is an actual office visit with the same care and time for questions as a traditional office visit with your own health care provider.
Do I have to come every month?
No. You register for a Shared Medical Appointment just as you would for a regular visit, and only attend when you have an actual medical need – or when your provider asks you to come back for a follow-up visit.
What if I can’t stay the entire time?
You are welcome to stay for the full 90-minute Shared Medical Appointment. However, if you need to leave early, just let your facilitator know at the beginning of the appointment, and they will try to address your issues towards the beginning of the session.
Once I try a Shared Medical Appointment, do I always have to visit my health care provider this way?
No. It is simply an additional health care choice that is now available to you. Most patients who try a Shared Medical Appointment want to return, but you are under no obligation to do so. If you prefer traditional individual appointments, you may schedule them instead.
Will my insurance pay for a Shared Medical Appointment?
In terms of billing, the Shared Medical Appointment is the same as a regular office visit. The bill simply reflects the medical services that are provided and documented. There is no extra charge for the extra time. It is billed as a typical office visit and your usual co-pay will apply.
Can I get my medications in a Shared Medical Appointment?
Anything you would normally do in an individual office visit can be done in a Shared Medical Appointment, including prescriptions, vaccinations, tests and referrals to other providers.
Can I bring a family member or friend with me?
Yes. It is fine to have a family member or support person present in the Shared Medical Appointment. However, the focus will be upon your medical care and not theirs. Each “guest” will be asked to also sign the same confidentiality statement as the patients.
How do I sign up for a Shared Medical Appointment?
Shared Medical Appointments are currently available at our Reliant Medical Group sites in Leominster and Plantation Street and will soon be an option at other locations. The next time you need medical care, ask if your health care provider is offering a Shared Medical Appointment. Only a limited number of providers are offering this type of appointment at this time.