Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Medicare Recipients See Declines In Continuity Of Care

Date:
April 21, 2009
Source:
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Summary:
Researchers have found that Medicare recipients transitioning from outpatient to hospital settings were more likely to experience lapses in continuity of care in 2006 than 1996. Part of the reduction in continuity of care is ascribed to the increasing use of hospitalists, physicians who specialize in the care of hospitalized patients.

According to a study by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, elderly Medicare recipients transitioning from outpatient to hospital settings were more likely to experience lapses in continuity of care in 2006 than 1996. The researchers ascribe part of the reduction in continuity of care to the increasing use of hospitalists, physicians who specialize in the care of hospitalized patients.

Related Articles


Dr. Gulshan Sharma, an assistant professor in the department of internal medicine at UTMB, was first author on the study, appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The members of the study research team examined data on more than 3 million hospital admissions of people over 66 years old.

According to the study, in 1996, 50.5 percent of hospitalized Medicare patients were seen by at least one physician who had seen them in an outpatient setting at least once during the previous year. By 2006, however, that percentage had declined to 39.8 percent. Similarly, in 1996, 44.3 percent of patients who were hospitalized were visited at least once by a primary care physician who had seen them prior to hospitalization. By 2006, this percentage had declined to 31.9 percent.

"Approximately one-third of the decrease in continuity [of care] between 1996 and 2006 was associated with growth in hospitalist activity," according to the study. Continuity of care consists of three dimensions: Continuity in information, continuity in management and continuity in the patient-physician relationship.

In addition to the increased use of hospitalists, the study notes that Medicare payment formulas discourage primary care physicians from continuing to care for their patients when a hospitalist becomes involved. Direct communication between primary care physicians and hospitalists occurred less than 20 percent of the time.

The researchers recommended additional study on the effect of reduced continuity of care on patient outcomes and whether interventions could be developed to minimize any detrimental effects.

In a New England Journal of Medicine article published March 12, UTMB researchers described how they used the same Medicare database to calculate that the percentage of internal medicine physicians practicing as hospitalists jumped from 5.9 percent in 1995 to 19 percent in 2006. That study marked the first quantitative survey of the increase in hospitalist care, and raised questions about the effects of the growth of hospitalist care on continuity of patient care, the role of the primary care physician, patient satisfaction and the patient-physician relationship.

Also participating in the JAMA study from UTMB were Dr. Kathlyn E. Fletcher, Dong Zhang, Yong-Fang Kuo, Jean L. Freeman and Dr. James S. Goodwin.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sharma et al. Continuity of Outpatient and Inpatient Care by Primary Care Physicians for Hospitalized Older Adults. JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2009; 301 (16): 1671 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.517

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "Medicare Recipients See Declines In Continuity Of Care." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090421181037.htm>.
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. (2009, April 21). Medicare Recipients See Declines In Continuity Of Care. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090421181037.htm
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "Medicare Recipients See Declines In Continuity Of Care." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090421181037.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins