Specialty referral communication and completion in the community health center setting.
ABSTRACT Parent and provider disagreement about children's care at the time of specialty referral may lead to incomplete referral, ie, not attending a specialty visit when referred. This study's objectives were first to assess parent-provider correlation in perspectives on referral necessity, seriousness of child's health problem, and parental understanding of referral among children referred to pediatric specialists, and second to assess whether these perspectives are associated with incomplete referral.
Two months after specialty referral, parents and primary care providers completed a survey rating referral necessity, seriousness of problem, and parental understanding on a 4-part scale ("definitely yes" to "definitely no"). Parents were surveyed by telephone; providers completed one self-administered survey per referral. Using z tests and Pearson correlation coefficients, we summarized parent-provider agreement about referral necessity, seriousness of problem, and parent understanding. We applied logistic regression to test associations of parent and provider ratings for each variable with incomplete referral.
A total of 299 (60.0%) of 498 matched parent and provider surveys were included in the analysis. Parents had low correlation with providers in perspectives of referral necessity and seriousness of problem. Parents reported that referral was necessary more often than providers, and providers underestimated parents' self-reported understanding of the referral. Nearly 1 in 3 children had incomplete referral, and both parent and provider reports of lower necessity were associated with incomplete referral.
Parents and providers hold divergent perspectives on referral necessity and seriousness of children's health problems; these perspectives may impact rates of incomplete referral. Improving communication around specialty referral might reduce incomplete referral.
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ABSTRACT: To explore medical home attributes of community health centers (CHCs) that provide care to low-income children nationwide compared to other providers for the poor. Cross-sectional study of children aged 0 to 17 years in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS; 2003 to 2009) who resided in families living at <200% of the federal poverty level (FPL) and had visits to a primary care setting. CHC visits were defined as a visit to a neighborhood/family health center, rural health clinic, or community health center. Independent measures included provider type, age, gender, race/ethnicity, insurance, FPL, number of parents at home, language, maternal education, health status, and special health care need. Dependent measures included 4 medical home attributes: accessibility, and family-centered, comprehensive, and compassionate care. CHCs typically serve low-income children who are publicly insured or uninsured, come from racial/ethnic minority groups, and have poorer health status. Eighty percent to 90% of parents visiting both CHCs and other primary care providers rated high levels of family-centered, comprehensive, and compassionate care. However, CHCs had a 10% to 18% lower rating of accessibility (after-hours care, telephone access) even after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. Racial/ethnic disparities existed at both settings, but these patterns did not differ between CHCs and other settings. On the basis of parental reports, CHCs received similar ratings to other primary care providers for family-centered, comprehensive, and compassionate care, but lower ratings for accessibility. Further studies should examine strategies for practice transformation in CHCs to improve patient satisfaction and accessibility to optimize child health outcomes.Academic pediatrics 09/2013; 13(5):436-42. DOI:10.1016/j.acap.2013.06.006 · 2.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To assess the frequency of barriers to specialty care and to assess which barriers are associated with an incomplete specialty referral (not attending a specialty visit when referred by a primary care provider) among children seen in community health centers. STUDY DESIGN: Two months after their child's specialty referral, 341 parents completed telephone surveys assessing whether a specialty visit was completed and whether they experienced any of 10 barriers to care. Family/community barriers included difficulty leaving work, obtaining childcare, obtaining transportation, and inadequate insurance. Health care system barriers included getting appointments quickly, understanding doctors and nurses, communicating with doctors' offices, locating offices, accessing interpreters, and inconvenient office hours. We calculated barrier frequency and total barriers experienced. Using logistic regression, we assessed which barriers were associated with incomplete referral, and whether experiencing ≥4 barriers was associated with incomplete referral. RESULTS: A total of 22.9% of families experienced incomplete referral. 42.0% of families encountered 1 or more barriers. The most frequent barriers were difficulty leaving work, obtaining childcare, and obtaining transportation. On multivariate analysis, difficulty getting appointments quickly, difficulty finding doctors' offices, and inconvenient office hours were associated with incomplete referral. Families experiencing ≥4 barriers were more likely than those experiencing ≤3 barriers to have incomplete referral. CONCLUSION: Barriers to specialty care were common and associated with incomplete referral. Families experiencing many barriers had greater risk of incomplete referral. Improving family/community factors may increase satisfaction with specialty care; however, improving health system factors may be the best way to reduce incomplete referrals.The Journal of pediatrics 08/2012; 162(2). DOI:10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.07.022 · 3.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine psychiatrists' barriers, attitudes, and practices regarding cardiac screening prior to initiating stimulants in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Background: Professional and federal oversight organizations recently have debated the evidence regarding sudden cardiac death (SCD) risk with stimulants, and have published guidelines recommending cardiac screening. It is not known how psychiatrists have responded. Methods: This study was a cross-sectional survey of 1,600 randomly-selected U.S. members of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Analyses included descriptive statistics and logistic regression. Results: Response rate was 40%; 96% met eligibility criteria. Barriers to identifying cardiac disorders in general included ability to perform a routine physical examination (74%) and care coordination with primary care providers (35%). Only 27% agreed that SCD risk warranted cardiac assessment. Prior to starting a patient on stimulants, 95% of psychiatrists obtained a routine history. The majority either conducted (9%), or relied on primary care providers to conduct (67%) a physical examination; 26% did not obtain a physical examination. Nineteen percent of psychiatrists ordered an electrocardiogram (ECG), of those, non-mutually exclusive reasons for ordering an ECG included standard practice procedure (62%), clinical findings (27%), medicolegal considerations (25%), and guideline adherence (24%). On multivariate modeling, psychiatrists were less likely to conduct cardiac screening themselves if in private practice (referent: academic medical center), if >50% of their patients had private insurance, or if they believed their ability to perform a physical examination to be a barrier. When modeling cardiac screening performed by any healthcare professional (e.g., psychiatrist, primary care practitioner), screening was less likely if the psychiatrist was practicing in a community mental health center (referent: academic medical center), was male, or if >50% of that psychiatrist's patients had private insurance. Conclusion: Findings suggest the tacit interplay between primary care and psychiatry for the assessment and management of medical risks associated with psychotropic medications should be improved, and solutions prioritized.Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology 10/2012; 22(5):375-84. DOI:10.1089/cap.2011.0141 · 3.07 Impact Factor