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Prim Care. 2005 Sep;32(3):793-810.

The primary care physician's role in nursing facility care.

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Division of General Medicine, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Virginia Health System, P.O. Box 800901, Charlottesville, VA 22908-0506, USA.


As more care is shifted from the acute care hospital and other sites to nursing facilities, and as the complexity of nursing facility care increases, more is expected of attending physicians. Physicians play an important role in helping patients and their families in this setting and in working with the facility staff in caring for these patients. Structuring visits to address patient and family needs and staff concerns; reviewing resident assessment instruments, care plans, and orders for care; and carefully documenting and coding those visits in such a way as to represent the purpose and complexity of the visit and the patient's clinical circumstances not only helps to improve the overall care provided to the patient but also helps others such as payors and regulators who are concerned about quality of care to have a better understanding of the patient's situation and future plans and expectations. Thus, as nursing facility care becomes more complex, the role of physicians in the nursing facility becomes even more essential.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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