Primary Care Docs Do Better

Here was a study that you haven’t seen……anywhere.  It is highlighted in Medical Economics and was performed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston:

 “We found that [PCPs] provide better care to diabetes patients when compared [with] other providers in a primary care setting because they were more likely to alter medications and consistently provide lifestyle counseling,” says Alexander Turchin, MD, a physician and senior author of the paper.

What?  You mean family doctors are good?   This article came in late January and no mainstream media outlet has picked up on it.  Isn’t that curious?

Here are some more tidbits:

  • The odds of medication intensification occurring were 49% higher when PCPs provided care than when covering doctors did, and they were 26% higher when PCPs provided care than when midlevel providers did.
  • The odds of lifestyle counseling occurring were 91% higher under PCPs than under covering physicians and were 26% higher under PCPs than under midlevel providers, the study notes.
  • During office visits for acute complaints, covering doctors were 52% less likely than PCPs to intensify medications.

To be honest, I don’t really know what this study means.  It was one study,  it was done at a large academic center, and it used weird endpoints.  But it doesn’t matter. My point is that you NEVER hear it when primary care docs prove that their education and training displays a difference in care.  Instead, all you ever hear is that the quality of care for treating sore throats and the flu is the same between NPs and docs.   Where is our advocacy groups publicizing this data?  Exactly.

 

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