When a companion accompanies an older patient to a routine medical visit, the patients report higher satisfaction with the doctor’s skills and the information they received.
In a study of over 12,000 Medicare beneficiaries, nearly 40 percent had someone come with them to their medical appointments. More than half were spouses, about a third were adult children. Other companions included roommates, friends, neighbors, and other relatives.
Older and less-educated patients and those who were in poorer health, were more likely to have someone come to the doctor with them. On average, accompanied patients had twice the Medicare medical expenses. Read the rest of this entry »