[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the impact of a patient engagement intervention utilizing the Medication User Self-Evaluation (MUSE) tool on the completion percentage of comprehensive medication reviews (CMRs) among Medicare Part D beneficiaries.
A case-control study.
Beneficiaries from 2 Medicare Part D plans were randomly assigned to 3 study arms (1 control arm plus 2 intervention arms for 2011 and 2012, respectively). Each beneficiary who participated in the MUSE intervention met 3 inclusion criteria and was matched with a single control group beneficiary based on: gender; age (within 5-year interval); plan type (ie, Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan); number of unique prescriptions; pharmacy medication therapy management (MTM) training status; and time period (2011, 2012). The outcome of interest was whether or not the beneficiary received a CMR in the 6 months following the index date. Generalized estimating equation (GEE) models were used to compare CMR percentages over time and between MUSE intervention groups. This study used MTM service claims data.
The final sample of 1015 beneficiaries received MUSE intervention, of which 1007 were successfully matched to a control beneficiary. The estimated odds of having a CMR among those who received the MUSE intervention were 2 times that of their counterparts (P = .0048) across both study years.
Given the strong evidence found for a positive association between participation in a CMR and the MUSE intervention, Part D plans could use the MUSE to engage targeted beneficiaries in using pharmacist-provided MTM services.
The American journal of managed care 01/2015; 21(6):e372-8. · 2.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose This study aims to evaluate the relationship between survivorship care planning (SCP) and survivorship care and health outcomes reported by long-term lung and colorectal cancer survivors. Methods Participants (n = 832) were diagnosed and enrolled during 2003-2005. In 2012, patient-reported outcomes (survivorship care and health outcomes) and two patient-reported SCP measures (receipt of written summary of cancer treatment and receipt of instructions on who to see for routine cancer follow-up) were collected. Analyses controlled for SCP predictors collected from medical records and an interview 1 year after diagnosis. Results One in four survivors reported receiving both SCP elements. Those receiving both were more certain which doctor was in charge (odds ratio (OR) 7.0; 95 % confidence intervals (95 % CI) 3.9-12.5), more likely to report follow-up checkup (OR 5.1; 95 % CI 3.3-8.0), and had an MRI/PET/CT scan in the past 2 years (OR 2.8; 95 % CI 1.7-4.7) compared to those receiving neither. Physician communication experiences were significantly more positive and having physical exams (OR 2.0; 95 % CI 1.2-3.4) and meeting exercise guidelines (OR 1.6; 95 % CI 1.004-2.4) more likely. Physical health (p = 0.012) and good-to-excellent self-perceived health status (OR 2.2; 95 % CI 1.3-3.9) were better for those receiving both elements. Conclusion SCP may lead to better cancer follow-up care, long-term physical health, and physician-patient communication experiences. Implications for Cancer Survivors The positive association between outcomes and SCP suggests that efforts to implement SCP should be fruitful.
Journal of Cancer Survivorship 10/2014; 9(2). DOI:10.1007/s11764-014-0406-y · 3.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Comparative effectiveness studies using Medicare claims data are vulnerable to treatment selection biases and supplemental data from a sample of patients has been recommended for examining the magnitude of this bias. Previous research using nationwide Medicare claims data has typically relied on the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) for supplemental data. Because many important clinical variables for our specific research question are not available in the MCBS, we collected medical record data from a subsample of patients to assess the validity of assumptions and to aid in the interpretation of our estimates. This paper seeks to describe and document the process used to collect and validate this supplemental information.
Medicare claims data files for all patients with fee-for-service Medicare benefits who had an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in 2007 or 2008 were obtained. Medical records were obtained and abstracted for a stratified subsample of 1,601 of these patients, using strata defined by claims-based measures of physician prescribing practices and drug treatment combinations. The abstraction tool was developed collaboratively by study clinicians and researchers, leveraging important elements from previously validated tools.
Records for 2,707 AMI patients were requested from the admitting hospitals and 1,751 were received for an overall response rate of 65%; 1,601 cases were abstracted by trained personnel at a contracted firm. Data were collected with overall 96% inter-abstractor agreement across all variables. Some non-response bias was detected at the patient and facility level.
Although Medicare claims data are a potentially powerful resource for conducting comparative effectiveness analyses, observational databases are vulnerable to treatment selection biases. This study demonstrates that it is feasible to abstract medical records for Medicare patients nationwide and collect high quality data, to design the sampling purposively to address specific research questions, and to more thoroughly evaluate the appropriateness of care delivered to AMI patients.
BMC Health Services Research 09/2014; 14(1):391. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-14-391 · 1.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment outcomes of advanced stage (IIIB and IV) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are poor. In this study, we explore the survival outcomes and the perception of the quality of care delivered in stage IIIB and IV NSCLC patients treated within versus outside a clinical trial.
Data were obtained from the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance Consortium (CanCORS). Baseline characteristics according to clinical trial participation were determined. The association between clinical trial enrollment and survival was assessed using a Cox proportional hazard model after adjusting for age, income, primary data collection and research site, comorbidities, self-reported performance status, presence of brain metastasis, stage IIIB versus IV, and cancer histology.
Of 815 stage IIIB and IV NSCLC patients, 56 (7%) were enrolled in clinical trials. Median survival for the patients treated within versus outside a clinical trial was 20.5 versus 16.7 months, respectively (P=0.21). Using a multivariate survival model, clinical trial enrollment did not correlate with longer survival (P=0.81). Comparing patients according to clinical trial enrollment, patients treated within a clinical trial setting perceived a better overall quality of care (P<0.01).
Management of stage IIIB and IV NSCLC patients within a clinical trial setting conveyed a perception of superior care that did not translate into survival benefit. These findings suggest that providing cancer care within a clinical trial should not imply a survival benefit when counseling stage IIIB and IV NSCLC patients about entering clinical trials.
American journal of clinical oncology 03/2014; DOI:10.1097/COC.0000000000000029 · 2.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: The clinical presentation of sarcoidosis can be varied. Prior investigations have shown that diagnosis is often delayed over six months, particularly in patients with pulmonary symptoms. Delays may lead to high healthcare use prior to diagnosis. Objective: To investigate healthcare use prior to diagnosis of sarcoidosis for a cohort of insured patients. Methods: We conducted a case-control study using a de-identified limited dataset of private health insurance claims. Cases were identified as persons with sarcoidosis from 2003-2009. Controls with other respiratory-related diagnoses (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia) were matched by age, gender, and diagnosis date. We compared frequencies of doctor visits, prescriptions, and imaging in the year prior to established diagnosis. Results: We identified 206 cases and 2060 controls and compared healthcare use patterns in the year prior to diagnosis. Among those receiving prescriptions, a larger proportion of cases received two or more antibiotic courses (69% vs. 55%, p=0.0020) or two or more corticosteroid prescriptions (63% vs. 50%, p=0.0137). On average, cases had more doctor visits (14.7 vs. 7.8, p<0.0001), saw more specialties (3.9 vs. 2.1, p<0.0001), and underwent more chest x-rays (2.0 vs. 1.5, p<0.0001). A larger proportion of cases underwent two or more chest x-rays (54% vs. 24%, p<0.0001). Conclusions: Patients with sarcoidosis undergo a large amount of healthcare prior to diagnosis, some of which may not be necessary, compared to controls with respiratory-related disease. These results highlight the need for improved diagnostic algorithms to identify patients with sarcoidosis and avoid potentially excessive delays in diagnosis.
Sarcoidosis, vasculitis, and diffuse lung diseases: official journal of WASOG / World Association of Sarcoidosis and Other Granulomatous Disorders 01/2014; 31(3):256-61. · 1.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES To identify factors influencing Medicare Part D beneficiaries' decision to receive pharmacist-provided comprehensive medication reviews (CMRs) and to evaluate their experiences with pharmacist-provided CMRs. DESIGN Cross-sectional descriptive study. SETTING Beneficiaries living in Maryland or Minnesota, from November 2011 to January 2012. PARTICIPANTS Medicare beneficiaries of two Medicare Part D plans who had completed a previous telephone interview for a larger project of medication therapy management quality improvement. INTERVENTION Self-reported mail survey. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Responses to survey items assessing beneficiaries' perceived importance of proposed factors affecting their decision to receive CMRs and items evaluating patients' experiences with pharmacist-provided CMRs if they had one in the previous year. RESULTS The valid response rate was 33.4% (238 of 713). Among the proposed factors, "knowing the out-of-pocket cost" (4.12 ± 1.28 [mean ± SD]) and "conducting in the usual pharmacy" (4.01 ± 1.37) were most important in making a decision to get a CMR. Factors rated significantly more important by those who had versus had not received a CMR included "usual pharmacy," "receiving medication list," "physician's support," and "pharmacists discuss changes with physicians." About one-third (30.6%) of respondents reported having pharmacist-provided CMRs within the previous year. Most respondents believed that having CMRs was important for their health (90.6%) and were satisfied with the results of CMRs (94.7%). CONCLUSION Patients preferred their usual pharmacy or convenient places to have a CMR. Also, a collaborative pharmacist-physician working relationship would be helpful in providing CMRs. Patients who received CMRs expressed a positive attitude toward and satisfaction with pharmacist-provided services.
Journal of the American Pharmacists Association 09/2013; 53(5):482-7. DOI:10.1331/JAPhA.2013.12233
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: To evaluate risks and benefits of bladder antimuscarinics (BAMs) among elderly long term care nursing home residents. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study using a new user design and propensity score matching. SETTING: Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Living Centers (Nursing Homes). PARTICIPANTS: Older adults (65 and older) admitted for long term care between October 1, 2002, and September 30, 2009. MEASUREMENTS: The study used multiple VA data sources (Minimum Data Set [MDS], inpatient, outpatient, and pharmacy prescriptions administrative files). The following outcomes were evaluated: (1) fractures (hip fracture and "any" fracture) identified from inpatient and/or outpatient data (ICD-9-CM codes) and from MDS; (2) cognitive performance measured using the validated MDS Cognitive Performance Scale; (3) improvement in urinary incontinence measured from MDS; (4) quality of life measured from MDS using 2 validated instruments: Index of Social Engagement and Health Status Index. Covariates included demographic characteristics, baseline continence status (bladder and bowel) and continence management, preexistent urinary tract infections, body mass index, comorbidities, other medication use, cognitive status, and mobility at baseline. These variables were used to calculate the predicted probability (propensity score) of being initiated on a BAM; the resulting propensity scores were used to match new users and nonusers. Outcomes were compared with Cox proportional hazards regression and generalized estimating equations methodology. RESULTS: BAMs were used by 9.8% of the residents 65 years and older admitted for long term care; 44% (1195) were new users. Of these, all but 53 received nonselective immediate release preparations, predominantly oxybutynin chloride (75%). BAM initiation resulted in improved urinary continence status (odds ratio = 1.27, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.07-1.5) and better social engagement (difference in mean index of social engagement score = 0.2074, 95% CI 0.055-0.3598). The risk of fractures was significantly increased in new users as compared to nonusers (hip fracture: hazard ratio [HR] = 3.67, 95% CI 1.46-9.34; "any" fracture: HR = 2.64, 95% CI 1.37-5.10). The number needed to treat (NNT) to obtain improvement in urinary incontinence after 90 days of treatment (NNT = 32, 95% CI 17-125) was similar to the number needed to harm (NNH) at 90 days in the hip fracture analysis (NNH = 36, 95% CI 12-209). There were no differences in cognitive performance or overall quality of life scores associated with BAM use. CONCLUSION: These results question the continued use of BAMs, particularly immediate-release oxybutynin chloride in elderly nursing home residents.
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 04/2013; 14(10). DOI:10.1016/j.jamda.2013.03.008 · 4.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Using patient-reported data to supplement claims-based indicators may be helpful in identifying Medicare beneficiaries likely to benefit from medication therapy management (MTM) services. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to develop and initially assess a patient medication user self-evaluation (MUSE) tool to identify Medicare Part D beneficiaries who would benefit from a comprehensive medication review. METHODS: A random sample of 225 patient medication profiles was created from a survey of Medicare beneficiaries; the survey also included demographic characteristics, responses to adherence questions, and reported symptoms. Three clinical pharmacists used the patient profiles to make judgments regarding the likelihood (low, moderate, or high) that each patient would benefit from an MTM visit in the next 3 months. A total of 150 cases were used for model calibration, and 75 were used for validation. Ordinal logistic regression models were fit to predict the likelihood of benefit from an MTM visit by using different combinations of potential MUSE items. Final model selection was based on the Akaike information criterion and the percent agreement between model prediction and expert judgments in the validation data. Measures considered for inclusion in the MUSE tool were related to medication use, medical conditions, and health care utilization. RESULTS: The final MUSE items incorporated number of medications, number of physicians, number of pharmacies, number of hospitalizations in the past 6 months, having forgotten to take medications, cost-related problems, and number of medical conditions. CONCLUSION: The 7-item MUSE tool could be used in targeting MTM services, such as comprehensive medication reviews, among Medicare beneficiaries.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE:: Preoperative (preop) chemoradiation therapy (CRT) improves local control and reduces toxicity more than postoperative (postop) CRT for the treatment of stages II/III rectal cancer, but studies suggest that many patients still receive postop CRT. We examined patient beliefs and clinical and provider characteristics associated with receipt of recommended therapy. METHODS:: We identified stages II/III rectal cancer patients who had primary site resection and CRT among subjects in the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance Consortium, a population-based and health system-based prospective cohort of newly diagnosed colorectal cancer patients from 2003 to 2005. Patient surveys and abstracted medical records were used to construct variables and determine sequence of CRT and surgery. Logistic regression was used to model the association between predictors and receipt of preop CRT. RESULTS:: Of the 201 patients, 66% received preop and 34% received postop CRT. Those visiting a medical oncologist and/or radiation oncologist before a surgeon had a 96% (95% confidence interval, 92%-100%) predicted probability of receiving preop CRT, compared with 48% (95% confidence interval, 41%-55%) for those visiting a surgeon first. Among those visiting a surgeon first, documentation of recommended staging procedures was associated with receiving preop CRT. CONCLUSIONS:: Sequence of provider visits and documentation of recommended staging procedures were important predictors of receiving preop CRT. Initial multidisciplinary evaluation led to better adherence to CRT guidelines. Further evaluation of provider characteristics, referral patterns, and related health system processes should be undertaken to inform targeted interventions to reduce variation from recommended care.
American journal of clinical oncology 09/2012; 36(6). DOI:10.1097/COC.0b013e318261082b · 2.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The research goals of the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance (CanCORS) Consortium are to determine how characteristics and beliefs of patients, providers, and health care organizations influence the treatments and outcomes of individuals with newly diagnosed lung and colorectal cancers. As CanCORS results will inform national policy, it is important to know how they generalize to the United States population with these cancers. RESEARCH DESIGN: This study assessed the representativeness of the CanCORS cohort of 10,547 patients with lung cancer (LC) or colorectal cancer (CRC) enrolled between 2003 and 2005. We compared characteristics (sex, race, age, and disease stage) with the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) population of 234,464 patients with new onset of these cancers during the CanCORS recruitment period. RESULTS: The CanCORS sample is well matched to the SEER Program for both cancers. In CanCORS, 41% LC/47% CRC were female versus 47% LC/49% CRC in SEER. African American, Hispanic, and Asian cases differed by no more than 5 percentage points between CanCORS and SEER. The SEER population is slightly older, with the percentage of patients older than 75 years 33.1% LC/37.3% CRC in SEER versus 26.9% LC/29.4% in CanCORS, and also has a slightly higher proportion of early stage patients. We also found that the CanCORS cohort was representative within specific SEER regions that map closely to CanCORS sites. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that the CanCORS Consortium was successful in enrolling a demographically representative sample within the CanCORS regions.
Medical care 03/2012; 51(2). DOI:10.1097/MLR.0b013e318222a711 · 2.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To compare patient profiles and health care use for physician-referred and self-referred episodes of outpatient physical therapy (PT).
Five years (2003-2007) of private health insurance claims data, from a Midwest insurer, on beneficiaries aged 18-64.
Retrospective analyses of health care use of physician-referred (N = 45,210) and self-referred (N = 17,497) ambulatory PT episodes of care was conducted, adjusting for age, gender, diagnosis, case mix, and year.
Physical therapy episodes began with the physical therapist initial evaluation and ended on the last date of service before 60 days of no further visits. Episodes were classified as physician-referred if the patient had a physician claim from a reasonable referral source in the 30 days before the start of PT.
The self-referred group was slightly younger, but the two groups were very similar in regard to diagnosis and case mix. Self-referred episodes had fewer PT visits (86 percent of physician-referred) and lower allowable amounts ($0.87 for every $1.00), after covariate adjustment, but did not differ in related health care utilization after PT.
Health care use during PT episodes was lower for those who self-referred, after adjusting for key variables, but did not differ after the PT episode.
Health Services Research 09/2011; 47(2):633-54. DOI:10.1111/j.1475-6773.2011.01324.x · 2.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clostridium difficile is the most common cause of nosocomial infectious diarrhea in the United States. However, recent reports have documented that C. difficile infections (CDIs) are occurring among patients without traditional risk factors. The purpose of this study was to examine the epidemiology of CA-CDI, by estimating the incidence of CA-CDI and HA-CDI, identifying patient-related risk factors for CA-CDI, and describing adverse health outcomes of CA-CDI.
We conducted a population-based, retrospective, nested, case-control study within the University of Iowa Wellmark Data Repository from January 2004 to December 2007. We identified persons with CDI, determined whether infection was community-associated (CA) or hospital-acquired (HA), and calculated incidence rates. We collected demographic, clinical, and pharmacologic information for CA-CDI cases and controls (i.e., persons without CDI). We used conditional logistic regression to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) for potential risk factors for CA-CDI.
The incidence rates for CA-CDI and HA-CDI were 11.16 and 12.1 cases per 100,000 person-years, respectively. CA-CDI cases were more likely than controls to receive antimicrobials (adjusted OR, 6.09 [95% CI 4.59-8.08]) and gastric acid suppressants (adjusted OR, 2.30 [95% CI 1.56-3.39]) in the 180 days before diagnosis. Controlling for other covariates, increased risk for CA-CDI was associated with use of beta-lactam/beta-lactamase inhibitors, cephalosporins, clindamycin, fluoroquinolones, macrolides, and penicillins. However, 27% of CA-CDI cases did not receive antimicrobials in the 180 days before their diagnoses, and 17% did not have any traditional risk factors for CDI.
Our study documented that the epidemiology of CDI is changing, with CA-CDI occurring in populations not traditionally considered "high-risk" for the disease. Clinicians should consider this diagnosis and obtain appropriate diagnostic testing for outpatients with persistent or severe diarrhea who have even remote antimicrobial exposure.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To describe chemotherapy use and adverse events (AEs) for advanced-stage, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in community practice, including descriptions according to variation by age.
We interviewed patients with newly diagnosed, stages IIIB and IV NSCLC in the population-based cohort studied by the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance Consortium, and we abstracted the patient medical records. AEs were medical events occurring during chemotherapy. Using logistic regression, we assessed the association between age and chemotherapy; with Poisson regression, we estimated event rate ratios and adjusted the analysis for age, sex, ethnicity, radiation therapy, stage, histology, and presence and grade of 27 comorbidities.
Of 1,371 patients, 58% (95% CI, 55% to 61%) received chemotherapy and 35% (95% CI, 32% to 38%) had AEs. After adjustment, 72% (95% CI, 65% to 79%) of those younger than 55 years and 47% (95% CI, 42% to 52%) of those age 75 years and older received chemotherapy. Platinum-based therapies were less common in the older-age groups. Pretreatment medical event rates were 18.6% for patients younger than 55 years and were only 9.2% for those age 75 years and older (adjusted rate ratio, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.26 to 0.91). In contrast, older adults were more likely to have AEs during chemotherapy. The adjusted rate ratios compared with age younger than 55 years were 1.70 for 65- to 74-year-olds (95% CI, 1.19 to 2.43) and 1.34 for those age 75 years and older (95% CI, 0.90 to 2.00).
Older patients who received chemotherapy had fewer pretherapy events than younger patients and were less likely to receive platinum-based regimens. Nevertheless, older patients had more adverse events during chemotherapy, independent of comorbidity. Potential implicit trade-offs between symptom management and treatment toxicity should be made explicit and additionally studied.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients are at risk of harm from medication errors. Barcode medication administration (BCMA) systems are recommended to mitigate preventable adverse drug events (ADEs). Our hypothesis was that a BCMA system would reduce preventable ADEs by 45% in a neonatal intensive care unit.
We conducted a prospective, observational, cohort study of a BCMA system intervention in a neonatal intensive care unit. Participants were admitted neonates during 50 weeks. Medication errors and potential or preventable ADEs were detected by a daily structured audit of each subject's medical record, with assignment of an event as a preventable ADE made by blinded assessors. The generalized estimating equation method was used in modeling the targeted, preventable ADE rate with covariates.
A total of 92,398 medication doses were administered to 958 subjects. The generalized estimating equation method yielded a relative risk of preventable ADE when the system was implemented of 0.53 (95% confidence limits 0.29 to 0.91, P = .04), adjusted for log(10)doses of medication/subject/day, a significant predictive covariate (P < .001), as well as for birth weight, sex, Caucasian race, birth cohort number, and nursing hours/subject/day.
The BCMA system reduced the risk of targeted, preventable ADEs by 47%, controlling for the number of medication doses/subject/day, an important risk exposure.
The Journal of pediatrics 10/2008; 154(3):363-8, 368.e1. DOI:10.1016/j.jpeds.2008.08.025 · 3.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for Women Across the Nation (WISEWOMAN) is a program designed for financially disadvantaged women ages 40-64 and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This study investigates the role that travel distance plays in determining whether these women will attend an intervention program.
Women in the Iowa WISEWOMAN program were offered an optional health care education program. Distance from the woman's house to the intervention class site was calculated for participants from October 2002 through July 2005 resulting in 787 women. A generalized additive model is used in determining the combined effects of distance, demographic variables, and lifestyle variables on whether women in the study attend the intervention session or not.
Distance plays an important role in attendance, although its impact depends on the age of the woman and the setting (urban or rural) of the intervention. In particular, older rural women were much more likely to attend if the intervention was close to home.
The probability of attendance is affected by many factors, but travel distance appears to play an important role, particularly for older rural women.
Preventive Medicine 08/2008; 47(5):565-9. DOI:10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.06.021 · 2.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Early nephrology care may improve treatment outcomes of patients with end-stage renal disease. We sought to examine if physician access affects early nephrology care defined as visiting a nephrologist 12 to 4 months before initiating dialysis. The study population consisted of elderly patients starting hemodialysis whose demographic characteristics and initial dialysis therapy were derived from form 2728 files of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Early nephrology care, chronic kidney disease and co-morbidities along with access to local non-nephrologist physicians and nephrologists were identified based on Medicare claims and/or United States 2000 Census data. About one-third of elderly patients received early nephrology care prior to initiating dialysis. Patients living in an area with a large number of non-nephrologist physicians or living relatively far away from a nephrologist had a lower likelihood of getting early nephrology care prior to initiating dialysis while those in an area with more practicing nephrologists were more likely to get early nephrology care. The study shows that physician access significantly influences the use of early nephrology care among elderly patients progressing to end-stage renal disease in the United States.
Kidney International 06/2008; 74(12):1596-602. DOI:10.1038/ki.2008.212 · 8.52 Impact Factor