Group Treatments: A Viable Solution for Health Systems?

Chronic conditions are responsible for 86% of healthcare costs in the United States. Stress is at the root of most chronic disease. And, self-care practices, such as meditation, yoga, acupressure, guided imagery, and qi gong can be used to manage both stress and chronic conditions. The problem? These interventions are not covered by health insurance.

Group treatments may be a solution.  Although group treatments are not covered by insurance, they provide a clinically effective and economically affordable methodology to help patients manage chronic conditions. In addition, group interventions increase patient satisfaction, engagement, and social connection.  They also improve symptom management and quality of life. And, as many as 30 patients can be “treated” concurrently.

Health systems can offer group treatments as part of population health, community outreach, and employee wellness efforts. Group treatment offerings, bolstered by an effective communication plan, evidence-based methods of delivery and excellent customer service – such as SOHL’s Self-Care Training Series – are bound to produce happier and healthier health consumers.

Examples of group “treatments”, all supported in the research, include:

  • Sustainable Self-Care Interventions, where participants learn multiple self-care practices in live trainings with access to online programming they can access at home.
  • Mind-Body Skills Groups, where participants learn multiple self-care practices over 8 to 10 weeks.
  • Community Ear Acupuncture, where up to 20 patients are treated with ear acupuncture. While seated, five tiny needles are inserted in the patients’ ears.
  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Training, where participants learn 4 types of mindfulness meditation over the course of 8 weeks.
  • Chair yoga, yoga, tai qi, qi gong, and meditation can all be taught using a typical class format.

Health systems that incorporate structured group trainings into their patient care offerings will increase not only patient engagement and health, but also loyalty to the health system as the patients’ source for both sick care and self-care practices.

 

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