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Better continuity of care for elderly pataients cuts costs and complications, study finds
Date:3/17/2014

ve not reduced costs or improved quality.

Researchers evaluated the care received by nearly 300,000 Medicare recipients who were treated for an episode of congestive heart failure, emphysema or type 2 diabetes.

The study used a standard measure of continuity of care to determine how well patients' care was coordinated among different health providers. Care was deemed to be better coordinated if patients saw fewer health providers or if visits were concentrated among fewer providers.

Researchers found that patients with better continuity of care were less likely to be hospitalized, less likely to visit hospital emergency departments, had lower rates of complications and had lower overall costs for their episodes of care.

"Our results suggest the potential importance of care continuity and underscore the potential benefits that can be achieved through programs that improve coordination," Hussey said. "As health care delivery and payment programs evolve, we need to measure whether these reforms improve continuity and reduce health care costs."


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Contact: Warren Robak
robak@rand.org
310-451-6913
RAND Corporation
Source:Eurekalert

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