One of the most fascinating areas of health care research is why physicians and other clinicians have the practice patterns they do–what factors account for differences in treatment patterns geographically and even within a geographic area, and to what extent are differences in treatment patterns associated with differences in care outcomes. In this study, researchers examined satisfaction with care from patients referred by a primary care physician to a specialist. The comparison was made among specialists whom the primary care doctor had trained with versus those he or she had no prior relationship with. About a third of referrals were to clinicians whom the referring doctor trained with and those referrals had a nine percentage point higher patient satisfaction level. It would be consistent with human nature that a specialist who knows the referring physician might deliver better care to the referred patient, but not exactly reational. (JAMA Study)
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The Healthy Skeptic is a website about the health care system, and is written by Kevin Roche, who has many years of experience working in the health industry. Mr. Roche is available to assist health care companies through consulting arrangements through Roche Consulting, LLC and may be reached at [email protected].
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