Medical group integration doesn't always integrate care for patients, study finds

Despite the move among many medical groups to integrate structurally, this transformation may not be felt by may patients, a study published in the May issue of Health Affairs suggests. 

Researchers analyzed the structural integration of 144 medical groups and compared those findings with a validated national survey of more than 3,000 Medicare beneficiaries who received care from those medical groups. 

The researchers could not find a consistent association between structural characteristics of the various groups and patient perception of care. However, the surveys indicated multispecialty groups may be better than primary care groups at communicating patient medical histories within the group. 

"Opportunities exist to improve patient care, but structural integration of medical groups might not be sufficient for delivering care that patients perceive as integrated," the authors wrote. 


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