Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Better continuity of care for elderly patients cuts costs, complications, study finds

Date:
March 17, 2014
Source:
RAND Corporation
Summary:
Patients with chronic illnesses often face care that is poorly coordinated, leading to higher use of health services and poorer outcomes. A new study finds that improving the coordination of care for elderly patients with chronic diseases trims costs, reduces use of health services and cuts complications.

Improving the coordination of care for elderly patients with chronic diseases trims costs, reduces use of health services and cuts complications, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Related Articles


Studying a large group of Medicare patients, researchers found that even modest improvements in the continuity of care among patients with diabetes, congestive heart failure or emphysema were associated with sizable reductions in use of hospital emergency departments and hospitalizations.

The findings, published online by JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that improving the coordination of care for patients with these three illnesses could save Medicare as much as $1.5 billion per year.

"Improving the coordination of care for patients with chronic illnesses can be difficult to achieve, but our findings suggest that it can have benefits for both patients and the health care system," said Peter Hussey, the study's lead author and a senior policy researcher at RAND, a nonprofit research organization.

Patients with chronic illnesses often face care that is poorly coordinated. They may see many different health care providers working in multiple clinical locations, and poor communication between provider and patient is common. These factors can lead to higher use of health services and poorer outcomes.

Care coordination among providers has been identified as a priority by the Institute of Medicine and the National Priorities Partnership, a coalition of 52 national organizations working to improve the U.S. health care system. New models of patient care and provider payment programs -- encouraged under the Affordable Care Act -- are intended to reduce costs and improve quality through better coordination of care.

Previous studies have shown that patients with a close, continuous relationship with a physician are more likely to received recommended medical care. But many programs that aim to improve coordination of care have not reduced costs or improved quality.

Researchers evaluated the care received by nearly 300,000 Medicare recipients who were treated for an episode of congestive heart failure, emphysema or type 2 diabetes.

The study used a standard measure of continuity of care to determine how well patients' care was coordinated among different health providers. Care was deemed to be better coordinated if patients saw fewer health providers or if visits were concentrated among fewer providers.

Researchers found that patients with better continuity of care were less likely to be hospitalized, less likely to visit hospital emergency departments, had lower rates of complications and had lower overall costs for their episodes of care.

"Our results suggest the potential importance of care continuity and underscore the potential benefits that can be achieved through programs that improve coordination," Hussey said. "As health care delivery and payment programs evolve, we need to measure whether these reforms improve continuity and reduce health care costs."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by RAND Corporation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Peter S. Hussey, Eric C. Schneider, Robert S. Rudin, D. Steven Fox, Julie Lai, Craig Evan Pollack. Continuity and the Costs of Care for Chronic Disease. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2014; DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.245

Cite This Page:

RAND Corporation. "Better continuity of care for elderly patients cuts costs, complications, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140317170714.htm>.
RAND Corporation. (2014, March 17). Better continuity of care for elderly patients cuts costs, complications, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140317170714.htm
RAND Corporation. "Better continuity of care for elderly patients cuts costs, complications, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140317170714.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
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