Patient-centered care may be linked to decreased use of healthcare services and lower total annual charges, according to a study published in the May-June issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. The authors randomized 509 new adult patients to care by family physicians and general internists, and used an adaption of the Davis Observation Code to measure patient-centered practice style. They found that a higher average amount of patient-centered care was related to significantly decreased annual number of visits for specialty care, less frequent hospitalizations, and fewer laboratory and diagnostic tests. In addition, total medical charges and charges for specialty care clinic visits were also significantly reduced for all patients who had a greater average amount of patient-centered visits during the 1-year study period.
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