Based on analysis of more than 12 000 respondents to the 2004 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, this study describes the experiences of community-dwelling older adults in routine medical visits and examines whether accompaniment status of beneficiaries, or functions assumed by visit companions, have a bearing on beneficiaries' satisfaction with physician care. Nearly 40% of the community-dwelling older adults were typically accompanied to routine medical visits by a companion. Accompanied individuals were older, less educated, in worse health, and incurred Medicare expenditures that were twice as high as their unaccompanied counterparts. More than 60% of patient companions actively facilitated visit communication by recording physician instructions (44.1%), providing information regarding patients' medical conditions or needs (41.6%), asking questions (41.1%), or explaining physicians' instructions (29.7%). After controlling for sociodemographic and health differences, individuals who were accompanied were more highly satisfied with their physician's technical skill, information giving, and interpersonal skill compared with individuals who were unaccompanied.