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The involvement of physicians in VA home care: results from a national survey.

Weaver FM, Hughes SL, Giobbie-Hurder A, Ulasevich A, Kubal JD, Fuller J, Kinosian B, Lichtenstein MJ, Rowe J. The involvement of physicians in VA home care: results from a national survey. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2000 Jun 1; 48(6):677-81.

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OBJECTIVES: To examine the role of physicians in the Veteran Affairs (VA) home-based primary care (HBPC) program and to identify variables that predict whether physicians make home visits and volume of home visits made. DESIGN: Descriptive and regression analyses of responses from a mail survey. PARTICIPANTS: Forty-five physicians affiliated with VA HBPC programs. MAIN SURVEY TOPICS: Self-reported work load, attitudes toward home care, reasons for home visits, administrative policies regarding physicians' role in patient care management, and time commitment to home care. RESULTS: A majority of physicians believed strongly in the importance of home care and made home visits for reasons consistent with their training. Physician attitude toward home care and preoccupation with office or hospital practice were related to whether or not physicians made home visits. Degree of preoccupation with office practice and amount of salary support from VA HBPC were significant predictors of the number of visits made (R2 = 0.44). CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that most physicians will make home visits if they believe that home care is valuable and if their time commitment is supported financially. Managed care plans that own and operate home care programs and have the capacity to transfer primary care management to physicians who derive financial support from the programs should find this information particularly relevant.

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