Navigation Links
'Doctor shopping' by obese patients negatively affects health
Date:5/21/2013

Overweight and obese patients are significantly more likely than their normal-weight counterparts to repeatedly switch primary care doctors, a practice that disrupts continuity of care and leads to more emergency room visits, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

The practice of "doctor shopping" among overweight patients may be a result of negative experiences with the health care system, whether that be off-putting comments by office staff, unsolicited weight loss advice by providers, or improperly sized medical equipment and office furniture, says Kimberly A. Gudzune, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor in the division of general internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Gudzune led the research described online in the journal Obesity.

Gudzune, who has conducted other research on challenges faced by overweight patients in their interactions with the health care system, and her colleagues define doctor shopping as seeing three or more different primary care physicians over the course of 24 months. In their study of more than 20,700 patients in a BlueCross BlueShield claims database, the researchers found that 23 percent met the definition. The odds of doctor shopping increased by 19 percent for overweight patients and 37 percent for obese patients, as compared with normal-weight patients in the database. Four percent of patients saw five or more primary care doctors over two years, a practice more likely in obese and overweight patients as well.

Gudzune cautions that not all doctor shopping is counterproductive or ill-considered. "If you are dissatisfied with your care or feel judged because of your weight, then you may be better served by finding a provider who can meet your needs," she says. The concerning issue, she adds, is that some patients may not find a provider that they connect with and are then driven to keep searching for new ones.

"There's something going wrong in these doctor-patient relationships that make these switches so frequent for this group of people," Gudzune says. "The real problem here is that the health of overweight and obese patients who doctor shop is being compromised. Because they do not remain with their doctors for very long, they are ending up in the emergency room, likely for things that could have been taken care of in a primary care office."

The researchers found that compared with normal-weight non-shoppers, overweight and obese doctor shoppers were 85 percent more likely than these normal-weight individuals to visit the ER. Even when compared to non-shoppers of their own weight, the overweight and obese doctor shoppers were still significantly more likely to visit the ER.

Moreover, this group was not more likely to be hospitalized, Gudzune notes, suggesting that their problems likely could have been solved by a primary care doctor in an office setting.

Gudzune says that other studies have shown that care continuity is associated with decreased hospitalizations and ER visits, improved use of preventive services and reduced health care costs.

Gudzune emphasizes that although her study did not determine the exact reasons why overweight and obese patients were switching doctors so often, the results affirm observations from a focus group study of obese women who discussed switching from doctor to doctor until they located a physician who met their needs.

Gudzune says more study is needed to tease out the reasons behind this phenomenon and to look for ways to ensure delivery of more compassionate care to overweight and obese patients.

"If they feel judged or hear offhanded comments about their weight, if the blood pressure cuff won't fit properly or they are afraid the examination table will not support their weight, it reinforces negative stereotypes obese patients encounter elsewhere," she says. "We need to strive to create a safe, judgment-free environment where all patients can receive satisfying medical care."


'/>"/>

Contact: Stephanie Desmon
sdesmon1@jhmi.edu
410-955-8665
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study finds doctors have exaggerated fears when starting patients on insulin
2. Doctors Detail High Costs of Fighting Malpractice Claims
3. Callahan honored for improving older adults health in their doctors offices
4. A fish a day keeps the doctor away?
5. Doctors Urge Routine Skin Screenings
6. AMA committee recommendations on doctor fees set by Medicare are followed 9 times out of 10
7. Doctors Restore Some Hand Function to Quadriplegic Patient
8. Men Can Still Ask for PSA Test, and Some Should, Doctors Say
9. Female Doctors Earn Less Than Male Counterparts: Study
10. Male doctors make $12K more per year than female doctors
11. Is it constitutional for states to regulate pharmaceutical gifts and meals to doctors?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... Ill. (PRWEB) , ... October ... ... Edwardsville School of Pharmacy (SOP) alumni Hannah Randall, PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer ... healthcare professionals on guideline updates for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... Alzheimer’s or dementia. However, many long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for care ... is the 90-day elimination period, when the family pays for care, is often waived, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s ... Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s ... The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... VA (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... of DevOps and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the ... Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance (FHC), ... will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th Annual ... Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2017)... Md. , Sept. 22, 2017  As the ... Republican Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and ... Information notes that the medical device industry is in ... medical device tax, the 2.3% excise tax on medical ... But they also want covered patients, increased visits and ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing a non-invasive, robotically assisted, platform therapy that uses ... today:   ... Jim ... Tom Tefft ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek , PhD, who has led R&D and business ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... , Pa. and KALAMAZOO, Mich. , ... Allentown, Penn. , and OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy of ... business partnership to offer a strategic hub service that ... Healthcare,s highly sought-after personal spirometer, Spiro PD 2.0, and ... A spirometer is a medical device used to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: