Care Coordination in U.S. Lags Other Developed Nations

U.S. patients are more likely to experience gaps in coordination among healthcare providers than their counterparts in other high-income nations, a new study suggests.

Well-coordinated care can help make medicine safer and more efficient, researchers note in the Annals of Family Medicine. Coordination between primary care providers and specialists can lead to fewer hospitalizations, but it can also require patients to have frequent contact with healthcare providers.

Roughly one in 10 U.S. patients experience numerous gaps in care coordination, which is about double the proportion across all 11 countries in the study.

Patients were less likely to have gaps in care coordination when their primary care physician knew them well and they didn’t have multiple chronic medical problems, the study also found.

“It shouldn’t be a surprise that having a good relationship with a primary care doctor helps care coordination,” said Timothy Hoff, a researcher at Northeastern University in Boston and author of a forthcoming book titled, “Next in Line: Lowered Care Expectations in the Age of Retail- and Value-Based Health.”

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NEWS SOURCE: Reuters, March 13, 2017