Analysis of Physician Referrals of Medicare Patients
Public Health Service via University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMAB)
10/01/96 - 09/30/99
Dennis Shea, Professor of Health Policy and Administration
The three major aims of this study were to characterize patterns of physician referral and paid consultations in the treatment of noninstitutionalized elderly and disabled Medicare beneficiaries from 1992 through 1994; to identify correlates of the referral and consultation patterns found in the course of addressing the first study objective; and to identify differences in costs and clinical outcomes associated with specialist referrals for the treatment of cardiovascular disease in the Medicare population.
The study produced descriptive cross-tabulations of referral-related factors and multivariate analyses designed to predict who is referred, for what reasons, and toward what short-term clinical endpoints. The final phase of this research was an outcomes study designed to determine how specialty referrals for cardiovascular disease affect the cost of treatment and whether they improve patient outcomes as measured by risk of death, hospitalization, and other potentially avoidable consequences of treatment failure.
This project was supported by Grant Number 7 R01 HS09439 from the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.