There is much policy discussion about the need for increased care coordination. AHRQ defines care coordination as “deliberately organizing patient care activities and sharing information among all of the participants concerned with a patient’s care to achieve safer and more effective care.” OECD defines care coordination as “…policies that help create patient-centred care that is more coherent both within and across care settings and over time.” But does better coordination between physicians actually lead to better outcomes? And what specific dimensions of coordination actually matter?
A paper by Chen (2021) aims to examine whether physician who are familiar with one another and provide coordinated care to patients lead to better health outcomes. Specifically, she finds:
Using administrative Medicare claims for two heart procedures, I find that shared work experience between the doctor who performs the procedure (“proceduralist”) and the doctors who provide care to the patient during the hospital stay for the procedure (“physicians”) reduces patient mortality rates. A one standard deviation increase in proceduralist-physician shared work experience leads to a 10–14 percent reduction in patient 30-day mortality. Patient medical resource use also declines with shared work experience, even as survival improves
Read the whole paper here.