Patients with Primary Care Doc Spend Less

People who have a primary care physician as their personal physician spend 33% less annually on healthcare and have lower mortality rates than patients with a specialist as their personal doctor. After taking into account the patient's characteristics, health insurance status, diagnosis, health perception, and smoking status, study subjects with a primary care physician "had 33% lower annual adjusted healthcare expenditures and lower adjusted mortality," Franks and colleagues report. The average total expenditure for those seeing primary care physicians was $2,029 compared with $3,100 for those using a specialist as a personal physician.

The Journal of Family Practice August, 1998;47:103-104, 105-109.

COMMENT: My perspective is a bit distorted on this one since I trained for three years in a family practice residency. I fully believe that the broad based training of family practice provides the best foundation for practicing medicine. Not only is the care generally more cost effective, the training a family physician receives probably provides the best base to practice natural medicine should they so choose.

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