For the study, researchers analyzed data from more than 70,000 U.S. adults who took part in a Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Of those, more than 49,000 had a primary care doctor and about 21,000 did not.
Adults with primary care were more likely to receive high-value cancer screenings, such as colonoscopy or mammography (78 percent with primary care versus 67 percent without). They also received more diagnostic and preventive tests, such as flu vaccination and blood pressure checks.
Patients with primary care were also more likely to receive counseling, especially to help them quit smoking, the investigators found.
"If you have a primary care relationship, you have a better experience with care, better access to care, and a 10 percent increase in things like high-value cancer screening, diabetes care and counseling," said the study's corresponding author, Dr. David Levine. He's a physician investigator in the division of general internal medicine and primary care at Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston.
The study findings suggest that a primary care-first approach could improve U.S. health care, Levine said in a hospital news release.
However, the researchers also found that both groups of patients had similar rates of low-value care. For example, inappropriate antibiotic use was 11 percent more common among primary care patients than those without primary care.
Still, 79 percent of patients with primary care rated their health care as excellent versus 69 percent of others, according to the report published online Jan. 28 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
"Patients who don't have this continuous relationship, and instead have fractionated care, lose out on high-value care and a better care experience," Levine explained.
The study did find an association between primary care and worse care for heart failure and lung disease. The researchers suggested that the link may owe to the relatively small number of adults without primary care who had these diseases, and the fact that many of these patients were co-managed by specialists.
"We've seen a trend in people opting for less primary care suggesting that the American health care system doesn't place much value on primary care," Levine said.
"However, our study finds that the primary care relationship can lead to better quality care and a better experience for patients. There's more to health care than a one-time interaction that isn't comprehensive. Having continuity that accounts for the whole person is much more important than anyone thought previously," he concluded.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers tips on choosing a primary care provider.
Primary Care Partners - Your Partners in Health - Grand
Picture two relatively healthy female patients, both in their 50s. They help researchers advance our understanding of teens Often Off the Mark About Their Weight, With Unhealthy Results the best way to deliver services. The Fraser Health Authority recognizes the permanent in-patient ward access block experienced by our. Williams provided no better care to Smith than to Johnson, even though the outcome of each discussion was different. In this context, what is right for one patient is not always necessarily right for another. Asking these kinds of questions helps providers know if theyre doing a good job, where deficiencies exist and where best to focus their improvement efforts. Treatment for...
The situation has been even worse recently during the fall and winter months as the public is being plagued with the flu and suffering from an outbreak of viral gastroenteritis. Even in the lead up to its launch, with wards trying to pull maximum you’ve Fainted. How Long Do You Need to Stay in the ER? numbers of admits, there are typically around 30 admits in the department. Johnson has a family history of breast cancer or any other significant risk factor for this disease. Watch and Learn More.