Monday, June 06, 2011

Seniors' Health Is Better in Areas with Lots of Doctors

If you're wondering where to live, and you care about your health, choose a place with lots of primary care physicians. A recent study has shown that in areas with lots of primary care doctors, seniors do better. The seniors are less likely to be sent to the hospital because the doctors will treat them and manage the illness outside the hospital.

The research was conducted by the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, and it analyzed Medicare claims from 5.1 million beneficiaries. What's fascinating is that not only were hospitalizations 10% lower, but people over 65 had death rates that were 5% lower, when they lived in a place with a high concentration of doctors.

The data did show that Medicare spent a little bit more on patients in areas with more primary doctors. But I think it's worth it.

Read more in the New York Times:

Published: May 30, 2011
Older people in areas with high concentrations of primary care doctors are hospitalized less often for conditions that can be treated outside hospitals and have lower death rates, researchers find.

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