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Patient experience with coordinated care shows room for improvement, survey finds

Just 49 percent of patients said their doctors are able to share information about their health, know their history before appointment, survey said.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

A survey by Nielsen, and sponsored by the Council of Accountable Physician Practices, has found that when it comes to patients' experiences with coordinated care, there's still some room for improvement.

The data was culled in order to gauge how the Affordable Care Act's delivery system reforms are progressing; these reforms include the process of transitioning to a value-based model from a fee-for-service framework. CAPP advocates for ACOs and other integrated delivery models.

Overall, coordination of care is improving, the survey found. But certain patients need additional support, like those saddled with multiple conditions, and the support they're receiving is at about the same level as those who are healthier.

[Also: Coordinated care and patient engagement]

Much of the time -- nearly half, in fact -- patient information was not shared among their multiple healthcare providers. Sixty percent of patients, for example, said their primary doctor's office had access to their hospital or emergency room records without the need to bring those records to the office; yet just 49 percent of patients said their doctors are able to share information about their health, and know their history prior to an appointment.

Health IT wasn't optimal either, the survey found, with most patients lacking access to digital and 24/7 care. A scant 34 percent said their doctor's office provides evening and weekend hours, while only slightly more, 38 percent, said the offices provide a 24/7 phone line for medical advice. The patient population surveyed indicates that around 48 percent of physicians' offices offered online portals where test results could be obtained.

[Also: Study says coordinated care could help address disabled adults' high ED use]

There were, however, gains from the 2015 survey. Last year, only 6 percent of patients said they had access to email reminders about taking medications, as opposed to 19 percent of patients this year.

The survey found a disparity between patients' own assessment of their experience and what was reported by physicians. Ninety percent of primary care doctors said they recommended increased physical activity and better eating habits, for example, while only 22 percent of patients said their doctors recommended more activity and 19 percent said they were told to eat better. That's a slight dip from the 2015 survey.

Twitter: @JELagasse

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