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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017 Sep;65(9):1916-1923. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14882. Epub 2017 Apr 8.

Outcomes in Older Adults with Multimorbidity Associated with Predominant Provider of Care Specialty.

Author information

1
Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College, Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine whether receiving the predominance of ambulatory visits from a primary care provider compared to a specialty provider is associated with better outcomes in older adults with multi morbidity.

DESIGN:

Observational study using propensity score matching.

SETTING:

Medicare fee-for-service, 2011-12.

PARTICIPANTS:

Beneficiaries aged 65 and older with multimorbidity.

MEASUREMENTS:

The independent variable was an indicator for having a specialty (versus primary care) as the predominant provider of care (PPC). Main outcomes were 1-year mortality, hospitalization, standardized expenditures, and ambulatory visit patterns.

RESULTS:

Two-thirds of 3,934,942 beneficiaries with multimorbidity had a primary care provider as their PPC. Individuals with a specialty PPC had more hospitalizations (40.3 more per 1,000) and higher spending ($1,781 more per beneficiary) than those with a primary care PPC, but there was little difference in mortality (0.2% higher) or preventable hospitalizations. Spending differences were largest for professional fees ($769 higher per beneficiary), inpatient stays ($572 higher per beneficiary), and outpatient facilities ($510 higher per beneficiary) (all P < .001). In addition, people with a specialist PPC had lower continuity of care and saw more providers.

CONCLUSIONS:

Older adults with multimorbidity with a specialist as their main ambulatory care provider had higher spending and lower continuity of care than those whose PPC was in primary care but similar clinical outcomes.

KEYWORDS:

continuity; multimorbidity; physician specialty; quality; spending

PMID:
28390184
PMCID:
PMC5603352
DOI:
10.1111/jgs.14882
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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