2013 Saw 1.7 Million Home Visits From Primary Care Doctors

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2013 Saw 1.7 Million Home Visits From Primary Care Doctors
2013 Saw 1.7 Million Home Visits From Primary Care Doctors

THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- In 2013, about 5,000 primary care providers made about 1.7 million home-based medical visits, according to research published in the August issue of Health Affairs.

Nengliang Yao, Ph.D., from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and colleagues used Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data for 2012 and 2013 to measure home-based medical visits. All home-based medical visits and Medicare payments for each provider's self-reported specialty were calculated.

The researchers found that in 2012, 4,832 primary care providers made about 1.7 million home visits, and in 2013, 5,249 made about the same number of visits. In 2012 and 2013, primary care providers accounted for 70 percent of all home-based visits. The greatest increase was seen in the number of providers of home-based medical care among health care professionals who made no more than 500 visits per year (from 29 percent in 2012 to 32 percent in 2013). About 9 to 10 percent of primary care providers made more than 1,000 home-based visits/year; these high-volume providers performed about half of the 1.7 million home visits (47 and 44 percent in 2012 and 2013, respectively).

"Home-based medical care has the potential to address health care challenges that result from an aging population with an increasing burden of complex chronic diseases," the authors write. "However, the shortage and maldistribution of the workforce for home-based medical care constitute a continuing challenge to realizing the potential of that care."

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