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UCLA Study Finds Patients Consistently Treated By One Primary Care Doctor Visit the ER Less Often
Sierra Sun Times

Patients who are treated by the same primary care doctor on a regular basis go to the emergency room and are hospitalized less frequently than those who bounce between multiple providers, according to new research by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

The study, published today in the July issue of the journal Health Affairs, was led by Nadereh Pourat, the center’s director of research. The authors looked at patient and doctor behavior before and after a 2009 policy change in a county-run health program in Orange County, California. The study found that disincentives, such as not reimbursing doctors other than a patient’s assigned provider, also play a role in reducing the number of ER and hospital visits.