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Keywords

primary care physicians, quality care, specialists

 

Authors

  1. Deshpande, Satish P. PhD
  2. DeMello, Jim DBA

Abstract

A study was undertaken to examine factors that hinder primary care physicians' and specialist physicians' ability to provide high-quality care. The study used data collected by the Center for Studying Health System Change's 2008 Health Tracking Physician Survey. The 2008 Health Tracking Physician data set consisted of 4720 physicians belonging to the American Medical Association. Both primary care physicians and specialists rated care decisions rejected by insurance (49%, 51%), followed by patient being unable to pay for needed care (45%, 43%), and patient noncompliance with treatment recommendation (43%, 37%) as the top major problem areas in providing quality care to patients. In addition, 36% of primary care physicians and 27% of specialists reported that inadequate time with patients during visit was a major problem in providing quality care to patients. Primary care physicians reported significantly more problems associated with having adequate time with patients during office visits, ability of patients to pay for needed care, availability of qualified specialists in the area, receiving timely reports from other doctors, and patient noncompliance with treatment recommendations. On the other hand, primary care physicians reported significantly lower communication difficulties with patients due to language or cultural barriers. Care decisions rejected by insurance, patient being unable to pay for care, and patient noncompliance with treatment recommendation were the top 3 hindrances in providing quality care to patients for both physician types. For 6 of the 8 hindrance factors, there were significant differences in the level of problems identified by primary care physicians and specialist physicians.