This week I did a "physical assessment" at Kaiser Permanente--it's their jargon for an old fashioned physical. Interesting contrast with private physician service, in that their laboratory is in the same building as the doctor's office. So when I told the doc that my hip hurt sometimes, he sent me off to get x-rays, it took 15 minutes, and he told me I've moderate arthritis in the hip, take anti-inflammatories and so long.
One of the points I'd make is that, when we think of "patients" as being reasonably healthy and mobile, the travel and coordination required by the specialization of services in different organizations (as I blogged in August) is tolerable. It's like New Orleans thinking of its citizens as mobile and able to evacuate. But when the patient is ailing and hurting and not so mobile, it becomes a real big deal.