COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update Learn More


Shared Medical Appointments (SMA)

What is a SMA?

In a shared medical appointment, our experts address a group of patients with similar health concerns. You’ll often receive more information than in a regular appointment because:

  • Your SMA will be longer than a standard office visit.
  • You learn from other people’s questions and comments.
  • The atmosphere is relaxed and supportive.

Benefits of a SMA

It can be a comfort to know you don’t have to cope with a health condition on your own. Through our SMAs, you’ll meet others going through similar situations and find value in learning about their experiences.

What Can You Expect From a SMA?

The appointments are designed to help you adopt lifestyle practices that lead to optimal self-care and will include:

  • Teaching of self-management skills and information about the root causes of disease
  • Discussion of nutritional and physical activity
  • Maintenance plans
  • Peer-to-peer discussion and support

Will You Have to Leave Your Primary Care Doctor?

No, you will keep your primary care doctor. As a valuable member of your care team, your SMA provider can coordinate your medical care needs with your primary care doctor and any others involved in your care.

How Will You Maintain Your Progress at Home?

During each session, we will provide you with actionable items to apply to your daily life. For SMAs completed in a series, you will have the opportunity to follow up with your provider on what works and doesn’t work as part of your daily life routine. You may also develop relationships with peers in your SMA that could assist with supporting any changes you are hoping to make in your health. Regular practice leads to lasting lifestyle changes that promote health.

Is a SMA Covered by Insurance?

Your SMA will be billed to insurance as a follow-up visit. You may be responsible for any co-pays. If you have any questions related to billing, please contact our Business Office at 320-255-5613.

What About Privacy?

Participation in a SMA is voluntary. Individual appointments with your doctor are always an option. All participants will sign a privacy and confidentiality agreement.

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO