Primary Care Continuity Associated with Fewer ED Visits, Hospitalizations

August 21, 2015 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​A policy change that encouraged patients to seek care consistently from their primary care physicians made patients 42% more likely to get treatment from their primary care providers and reduced hospitalization rates and emergency department (ED) visits, concludes a study published July 2015 in Health Affairs. Observing that receiving care from a primary care physician rather than the ED or being admitted to a hospital can reduce healthcare costs and improve outcomes, the researchers examined the effects of a policy for previously uninsured patients that fostered primary care continuity by assigning patients to a primary care provider and facility and, in the final year of the study, denying claims submitted by nonassigned providers.

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