Study: Patient-Centered Care Lowers Healthcare Costs

Patient-centered care may lead to lower annual healthcare costs and a decreased usage of healthcare services, according to a UC Davis Health System study in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

The study monitored 509 new adult patients and measured their use of medical services and related charges over a one-year span. A version of the Davis Observation Code was used to measure and define the "patient-centered" practice style, which revolves around the physician understanding the patient's symptoms, concerns, ideas and background and involving the patient in the health discussions.

UC Davis researchers reported physicians who involve patients in the treatment and care-planning discussion resulted in less visits for specialty care, fewer lab and diagnostic tests, less frequent hospitalizations and a drop in total medical charges. They also concluded that "patient-centered care may result in greater knowledge of the patient, greater trust between physician and patient and diminished need for additional specialty referrals, diagnostic testing, and use of hospital care."

Read the UC Davis Health System's study about patient-centered care lowering healthcare costs.

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