Faithful patients: The effect of long-term physician-patient relationships on the costs and use of health care by older Americans

L. J. Weiss, J. Blustein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives. This study examined the impact of duration of physician- patient ties on the processes and costs of medical care. Methods. The analyses used a nationally representative sample of Americans 65 years old or older who participated in the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey in 1991 and had a usual source of care. Results. Older Americans have long-standing ties with their physicians; among those with a usual source of care, 35.8% had ties enduring 10 years or more. Longer ties were associated with a decreased likelihood of hospitalization and lower costs. Compared with patients with a tic of 1 year or less, patients with ties of 10 years or more incurred $316.78 less in Part B Medicare costs, after adjustment for key demographic and health characteristics. However, substantial impacts on the use of selected preventive care services and the adoption of certain healthy behaviors were not observed. Conclusions. This preliminary study suggests that long-standing physician-patient ties foster less expensive, less intensive medical care. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and to understand how duration of tie influences the processes and outcomes of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1742-1747
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Volume86
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1996

Fingerprint

Physician-Patient Relations
Health Care Costs
Physicians
Medicare Part B
Costs and Cost Analysis
Tics
Preventive Medicine
Critical Care
Medicare
Hospitalization
Demography
Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

@article{f0e2ae7861714301a5b76c358fde1e74,
title = "Faithful patients: The effect of long-term physician-patient relationships on the costs and use of health care by older Americans",
abstract = "Objectives. This study examined the impact of duration of physician- patient ties on the processes and costs of medical care. Methods. The analyses used a nationally representative sample of Americans 65 years old or older who participated in the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey in 1991 and had a usual source of care. Results. Older Americans have long-standing ties with their physicians; among those with a usual source of care, 35.8{\%} had ties enduring 10 years or more. Longer ties were associated with a decreased likelihood of hospitalization and lower costs. Compared with patients with a tic of 1 year or less, patients with ties of 10 years or more incurred $316.78 less in Part B Medicare costs, after adjustment for key demographic and health characteristics. However, substantial impacts on the use of selected preventive care services and the adoption of certain healthy behaviors were not observed. Conclusions. This preliminary study suggests that long-standing physician-patient ties foster less expensive, less intensive medical care. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and to understand how duration of tie influences the processes and outcomes of care.",
author = "Weiss, {L. J.} and J. Blustein",
year = "1996",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "86",
pages = "1742--1747",
journal = "American Journal of Public Health",
issn = "0090-0036",
publisher = "American Public Health Association Inc.",
number = "12",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Faithful patients

T2 - The effect of long-term physician-patient relationships on the costs and use of health care by older Americans

AU - Weiss, L. J.

AU - Blustein, J.

PY - 1996

Y1 - 1996

N2 - Objectives. This study examined the impact of duration of physician- patient ties on the processes and costs of medical care. Methods. The analyses used a nationally representative sample of Americans 65 years old or older who participated in the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey in 1991 and had a usual source of care. Results. Older Americans have long-standing ties with their physicians; among those with a usual source of care, 35.8% had ties enduring 10 years or more. Longer ties were associated with a decreased likelihood of hospitalization and lower costs. Compared with patients with a tic of 1 year or less, patients with ties of 10 years or more incurred $316.78 less in Part B Medicare costs, after adjustment for key demographic and health characteristics. However, substantial impacts on the use of selected preventive care services and the adoption of certain healthy behaviors were not observed. Conclusions. This preliminary study suggests that long-standing physician-patient ties foster less expensive, less intensive medical care. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and to understand how duration of tie influences the processes and outcomes of care.

AB - Objectives. This study examined the impact of duration of physician- patient ties on the processes and costs of medical care. Methods. The analyses used a nationally representative sample of Americans 65 years old or older who participated in the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey in 1991 and had a usual source of care. Results. Older Americans have long-standing ties with their physicians; among those with a usual source of care, 35.8% had ties enduring 10 years or more. Longer ties were associated with a decreased likelihood of hospitalization and lower costs. Compared with patients with a tic of 1 year or less, patients with ties of 10 years or more incurred $316.78 less in Part B Medicare costs, after adjustment for key demographic and health characteristics. However, substantial impacts on the use of selected preventive care services and the adoption of certain healthy behaviors were not observed. Conclusions. This preliminary study suggests that long-standing physician-patient ties foster less expensive, less intensive medical care. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and to understand how duration of tie influences the processes and outcomes of care.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0030471931&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0030471931&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 86

SP - 1742

EP - 1747

JO - American Journal of Public Health

JF - American Journal of Public Health

SN - 0090-0036

IS - 12

ER -