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Californians with 'medical home' more likely to get flu shots, preventive treatment
Date:5/29/2013

Too many cooks may spoil a recipe, and too many doctors may give you the flu.

That's the takeaway from a new study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research that found that Californians who jump from provider to provider rather than seeing a regular doctor who coordinates their care may be less likely to get the kind of preventive treatment that protects against the flu and flare ups in their chronic conditions.

Specifically, the study used data from the 2009 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) to estimate whether the approximately 4.76 million California adults with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease had three key characteristics of "medical home" care. Those three characteristics are:

  • The patient saw a regular doctor over time rather than switching from provider to provider.

  • This regular doctor developed an individual treatment plan for the patient.

  • The doctor coordinated the patient's care.

The result? Californians who had all three of these characteristics were the most likely to get a regular flu shot, compared with those without a usual source of care. They were also more likely to have seen their doctor five or more times in the past year and to have called their doctor with a question about their care. Additionally, they were the most confident about their ability to manage their health.

"Seeing the same doctor over time builds familiarity, trust and confidence for both provider and patient," said Nadereh Pourat, the UCLA center's director of research and lead author of the study. "And if that doctor takes a coordinated approach to their patients' care, there seems to be a big payoff in terms of better health for their patients."

Preventive care is a key tenet of federal health care reform, under which millions of California residents will be eligible to gain coverage in 2014. The success of this coverage
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Contact: Gwen Driscoll
gdriscoll@ucla.edu
310-794-0930
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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