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Understanding Perceived Barriers to Care Among Suburban Super-Utilizers Who Have an Identified Primary Care Provider

Alexis B Reedy-Cooper, Connor Carmichael, Joy L Bowen, Patricia Bricker, Rebecca King, Ricci Kalayanamitra, Eric Messner
Population Health Management 2019 May 20
Patients who are admitted to the hospital frequently (>3 admissions in a 6-month period) are a large driver of health care costs. Recently, research has focused on these groups of super-utilizing patients to try to find ways to meet their care needs in the outpatient setting. However, most research so far has focused on the urban underserved population who do not have a usual source of care. The goal of this study is to identify a group of patients from a suburban academic family medicine practice who have been admitted to the hospital frequently over a 6-month period and interview them to identify patient-perceived barriers to care in the outpatient setting. Nine of the 176 patients identified as frequently hospitalized were interviewed. Interpretive phenomenology analysis was used to identify perceived barriers and facilitators to care. Although some identified barriers were similar to those noted in groups of the urban underserved, including chronic disease and polypharmacy, other barriers were uniquely identified in the nonurban population, including transportation and support at home. Transportation issues, lack of support at home, and poor interdisciplinary communication were found to increase risk for readmission. Conversely, good interdisciplinary communication and ample support from family, including support services at home, were viewed as facilitators to outpatient care.


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