Navigation Links
More Primary Care Docs in a Community Equals Healthier Seniors
Date:5/24/2011

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- The more primary care doctors a community has, especially ones who are actually practicing primary care, the healthier seniors in that community are, a new Dartmouth study suggests.

Those communities see fewer preventable hospitalizations and a slightly lower death rate among local elders, the researchers found.

"This reinforces something the American Academy of Family Physicians [AAFP] has stood on for a long time: that a well-trained physician can maintain outcomes," said AAFP president Dr. Roland Goertz, who noted that some 100 different studies have now come to the same or similar conclusions.

This study and others come in the context of a shrinking pool of primary care doctors. A study last month found that the percentage of medical students who want to go into primary-care medicine has dropped sharply over the past two decades, from 57 percent in 1990 to 33 percent two decades later.

In 1990, 57 percent wanted to go into primary-care medicine vs. 33 percent in 2007, according to that earlier study. Those choosing to practice general internal medicine in 2007 fell from 9 percent to 2 percent. And in 2008, only 264 U.S. medical students chose residency training in primary care internal medicine, compared to 575 in 1999.

Yet, having more primary care doctors is a cornerstone of most strategies to improve health-care quality and lower costs in the United States, the authors of the current study report. Their finding appears in the May 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

These authors looked at physician claims for about 5 million Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older culled from American Medical Association files. The claims including specialty coding for the physicians and the type of care provided, said study author Chiang-Hua Chang, a research instructor with the Center for Health Policy Research at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in Lebanon, N.H.

Seniors in areas with the highest number of primary care doctors had fewer preventable hospitalizations and fewer deaths.

The differences were admittedly small. For example, the Medicare enrollees living in areas with the most primary care physicians per capita had a 6 percent lower rate of preventable hospitalizations.

But the authors also found that it is not enough just to be trained in primary care. Doctors have to be practicing primary care as well, something that future studies need to take into account, Chang said.

Many doctors trained in primary care seem to be practicing in specialties such as emergency medicine or inpatient care only, she added.

"I think this raises several important questions," said Dr. Lawrence C. Kleinman, an associate professor of health evidence and policy at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. "We need to be making sure that there are adequate primary care physicians and adequate distribution of those physicians."

"Right now, we tend to pay when doctors do things but we don't tend to value when doctors prevent things, which means manpower is shifting from primary care to specialty care," he added.

Is the shortage going to let up?

"Not in the way we currently organize and finance care," Kleinman said. "Medical students respond to their value and their market forces, and currently the amount of debt and reimbursement discrepancies are trumping people's values and other preferences."

More information

The Health Resources and Services Administration has more on primary health care.

SOURCES: Chiang-Hua Chang, Ph.D., research instructor, Center for Health Policy Research, Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Lebanon, N.H.; Roland Goertz, M.D., president, American Academy of Family Physicians; Lawrence C. Kleinman, M.D., associate professor, health evidence and policy and pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City; May 25, 2011, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Experts Issue Top 5 List for Better Primary Care
2. Top 5 list helps primary care doctors make wiser clinical decisions
3. Primary stroke centers more likely to be in states with certification programs
4. Elsevier acquires Fisterra.com, a reference solution for Spanish primary care professionals
5. MRI identifies primary endometrial and cervical cancer
6. Molecule Nutlin-3a activates a signal inducing cell death and senescence in primary brain tumors
7. Primary care targeted for suicide prevention efforts
8. Primary Care Docs Often Overlook Short Stature in Girls
9. Residency match results encouraging for adults needing primary care
10. Nations top primary care physician organizations release guidelines for PCMH recognition programs
11. House leaders told some cuts in budget resolution could increase shortage of primary care physicians
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
More Primary Care Docs in a Community Equals Healthier Seniors
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... California Senate Bill (SB) 863, signed into law in 2012, ... and 2014, according to CompScope™ Medical Benchmarks for California, 17th Edition , a ... study, medical payments per claim in California decreased 4 percent in 2013 and then ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... San Francisco, California (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... health coaches, has raised an $18M Series B led by Canvas Ventures . ... use the capital to scale its mobile platform to serve more consumers who are ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... services from offices headquartered in Jefferson County, is announcing the launch of a ... Birmingham. , The number of homeless women and children in Birmingham has grown ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... The Compretta Insurance Agency, a family ... in and around the Hancock County area, is announcing the launch of a charity ... , The Hancock County Food Pantry has worked for more than 30 years to ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... DrugDev again demonstrated its dedication to ... of the early adopters completing EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Certification from the U.S. Department of ... both sides of the Atlantic with a mechanism to comply with EU data protection ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Pennsylvania Physician General ... Drug and Alcohol Programs Gary Tennis ... medications, known as benzodiazepines, developed with the help ... are medications that are frequently prescribed for anxiety ... are used with opioid pain medications, benzodiazepines pose ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016 True Health Diagnostics ... leading-edge laboratory services and management expertise to hospital ... , allowing more doctors and patients to benefit ... solutions. Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161208/447162LOGO ... systems, under pressure to contain costs, have struggled ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... NORWALK, Connecticut , 8. Dezember 2016 Mederi Therapeutics Inc ... Stretta-Therapie – eine nicht-operative Behandlungsmethode für gastroösophageale Refluxerkrankung (GERD) – in ... Reading ... Live ... by Professor Jun Liu, Director of Endoscopy at Wuhan Union Hospital ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: