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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2016 Dec;25(12):1231-1236. Epub 2016 Sep 1.

Office Visits for Women Aged 45-64 Years According to Physician Specialties.

Author information

1
1 Robert Graham Center, Center for Policy Studies , American Academy of Family Physicians, Washington, District of Columbia.
2
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine , Albuquerque, New Mexico .

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The increase in access to healthcare through the Affordable Care Act highlights the need to track where women seek their office-based care. The objectives of this study were to examine the types of physicians sought by women beyond their customary reproductive years and before being elderly.

METHODS:

This retrospective cohort study involved an analysis of national data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) between 2002 and 2012. Women between 45 and 64 years old (nā€‰=ā€‰44,830) were interviewed, and reviews of corresponding office visits (nā€‰=ā€‰330,114) were undertaken.

RESULTS:

In 2002, women aged 45-64 years (62%) went to a family or internal medicine physician only and this reached 72% in 2012. The percentage of women who went to an obstetrician-gynecologist (ob-gyn) only decreased from 20% in 2002 to 12% in 2012. Most went to a family physician or general internist for a general checkup or for diagnosis or treatment. By contrast, visits to ob-gyn physicians were predominantly for general checkups. Those who went to an ob-gyn office were more likely to have a higher family income, live in the Northeast, and describe their overall health as being excellent.

CONCLUSIONS:

Women aged 45-64 years were substantially more likely to obtain care exclusively at offices of family physicians or general internists than of ob-gyn physicians. Overlap in care provided at more than one physician's office requires continued surveillance in minimizing redundant cost and optimizing resource utilization.

KEYWORDS:

health maintenance; primary care; women's health

Comment in

PMID:
27585369
DOI:
10.1089/jwh.2015.5599
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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