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J Natl Med Assoc. 1998 Jun;90(6):349-52.

Physicians and nursing home care.

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King/Drew Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA.


Historically, physicians have not played a prominent role in the care of older adults who reside in nursing homes. Physicians have been criticized for abandoning their responsibilities to nursing home residents since the industry's rapid growth in the 1960s, following the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid. As many as 72% of private physicians do not go to nursing homes. This is true even of those family doctors and internists whose practices are disproportionately devoted to the elderly. Caring for institutionalized elderly patients over the long term presents challenges that even physicians experienced with geriatric patients in the community may find daunting. This study investigates reasons why physicians in the Los Angeles area hesitate or refuse to see nursing home patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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