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Daily Talker: Time Is Money With Doctor's Visits

 

We've all been there. You show up for a doctor's appointment, check in, then take a seat in the waiting room...and play the waiting game.

Now, a new Harvard Medical School study shows just how long we spend waiting for medical care and the amount of money it costs us.

Researcher estimates that the typical outpatient medical visit consumes 121 minutes of the patient's time. Factored in to that total:

-37 minutes in travel

-64 minutes waiting for care or filling out forms

-20 minutes face to face with the physician

The research goes on to show that it costs patients $43 in lost time for each medical visit.

All told, Americans spent 1.1 billion hours obtaining out-patient health care for themselves or others — time the researchers valued at $52 billion.

The researchers published two separate articles based on this work, the first appearing in the August edition of the American Journal of Managed Care, followed by Monday's "research letter" on disparities in JAMA Internal Medicine.

What do you think of a new study that shows an average visit to the doctor consumes 121 minutes of the patient's day?

Leave your comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter using #WBZTalker.

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