Not long ago, most patients admitted to the hospital were seen by the same doctor who also cared for them in the outpatient clinic. Many patients found comfort in seeing their regular doctor who already knew their medical history and their family.
Today, many patients have a primary care doctor who sees them in the outpatient clinic. However, if they have to stay in the hospital, they get care from a doctor they do not know.
Many people believe the relationship between patients and their doctors is key to better health. This led us to ask if care would be better if patients were seen by the same doctor in the clinic and the hospital. This study has been funded by Medicare to find out if patients are happier with their care, and have better health and lower health care costs if they see the same doctor in clinic and the hospital compared to having different doctors in the clinic and the hospital.
To find out which is better, half the patients in the study will have a doctor who sees them both in clinic and in the hospital. The other half can stay with their current doctor or get information about other primary care options. We will review patients’ medical records and call them every 3 months to learn about their health and the quality of care they receive.