Health Serv Manage Res 15:116-125.
Departamento de Estumatologia, Facultad de Odontologia, Universidad de Granada, Campus Univeristario de Cartuja, Granada, Spain
This study analyses how both ambulatory care groups (ACGs) and physician characteristics explain the variability in health-service use among primary care patients in Spain. During the period 1996-1997, data derived from 52,152 patients and their 38 respective primary care physicians were collected. The response variables were as follows: number of visits; diagnostic tests requested; and referrals to a specialist. ACGs are an important variable that should be taken into account in order to explain health-service utilization. As for professionals, age and the post they hold are essential factors. Most of the unexplained variability is caused by patient characteristics.
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