What this model looks like in action
This story is based on actual patient-care experiences, but is fictional. Any resemblance to real persons is purely coincidental.
Clinicians working in a busy internal medicine practice identified a common need for obesity treatment within their senior patient population. Maya, a nurse practitioner, and Jocelyn, her medical assistant, expressed interest in developing a group weight management program. The two worked with the Quality Improvement team to establish workflows, clarify responsibilities, set up a group template in the EMR, and investigate reimbursement options.
The group decided to use Medicare's Intensive Behavioral Therapy for Obesity benefit, which provides structure and reimbursement for group weight management without copays for beneficiaries. Additionally, Maya and Jocelyn created a curriculum for a full year of meetings. The content was approved by the clinicians who would refer to the program. To reduce costs, Jocelyn and Maya will each cover a portion of the group and complete joint documentation, which will decrease the amount of time they are away from individual patient care.
Bob, a recent widower, is concerned about the significant amount of weight he has gained over the past eight months. He regrets that he has been overindulging in comfort food and hasn't been physically active since losing his partner. His primary care physician suggests that Bob might enjoy being part of a healthy lifestyle and weight management group being held at the clinic. Bob agrees to give it a try.
New group cohorts start as soon as ten people are enrolled. At his first visit, Bob is met by Jocelyn, who runs the group's first 15 minutes. Her duties include taking weights, providing an overview of the day's topic, and discussing relevant resources. Maya leads the group for the next 30 minutes, focusing on group facilitation, patient education, and self-management support for weight management and healthy lifestyles. Bob is encouraged by the interaction with others, some of whom are in similar situations as his own.
Based on our research, we created this diagram of a typical workflow. This is simply an example of a starting point to consider. You should create a workflow that accommodates the functioning of your practice.