J Ambul Care Manage 32:216-225.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA
Approximately 7 of 10 (and 95% of the elderly) people in US health plans see one or more specialists in a year. Controlling for extent of morbidity, discontinuity of primary care physician visits is associated with seeing more different specialists. Having a general internist as the primary care physician is associated with more different specialists seen. Controlling for differences in the degree of morbidity, receiving care from multiple specialists is associated with higher costs, more procedures, and more medications, independent of the number of visits and age of the patient.
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