Comprehensive family physician-led care leads to cost savings, study finds

Quality primary care is the most efficient form of healthcare in terms of cost and hospitalizations, a new study published in the Annals of Family Medicine suggests.

The study examined a sample of more than 3,500 family physicians and 555,000 patients and found that patients treated by family physicians who billed for a broader range of services actually incurred lower costs and had better health outcomes.

The more comprehensive services the family physician offered, the lower the total cost per patient and the lower the hospitalizations incurred.

"Patients were 35 percent less likely to end up in a hospital if their family doctor was very comprehensive, compared with a doctor who was minimally comprehensive," author Robert Phillips Jr., MD, of the American Board of Family Medicine told NPR.

More comprehensive physicians were also associated with 10 to 15 percent lower patient costs, according to the report.

 

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