Bouvé Health Sciences faculty published in Health Affairs

Congratulations to two Bouvé College faculty members who have been recently published in Health Affairs.

Brady Post and Gary Young, both professors in Bouvé’s Department of Health Sciences, were published in Health Affairs this month for their paper examining differences in care among patients treated by cardiologists who are either practicing independently or as part of a hospital system. It’s titled: “Hospital-Physician Integration Is Associated With Greater Use Of Cardiac Catheterization And Angioplasty.”

Post says the big picture question of the paper is, does it matter who employs your doctor?

“Imagine you’re a patient with chest pain and you can choose to have your care managed by a hospital-integrated cardiologist or an independent cardiologist,” Post says. “Using Medicare claims, we found that if you get your care from a hospital-integrated cardiologist, you’re statistically more likely to receive the more intensive services of cardiac catheterization and coronary angioplasty – even if you’re not any sicker.”

He goes on to say, “In both linear probability models and instrumental variables models, care tilted toward use of more intensive services among the hospital-integrated group, even though that group was about the same in terms of clinical complexity. Whether these interventions were clinically appropriate is harder to say. Our data allowed only limited inference about this. Our study, however, adds to other research that shows more intense (and/or more expensive) care patterns among hospital-integrated physicians.”

According to Post, the bottom line: “We need to better understand whether patients are better off with care received from hospital-integrated physicians – and, where clinically appropriate, take steps to guard against unnecessarily intense treatment approaches.”

Post also appeared on Health Affairs’ podcast, A Health Podyssey, to talk more about his recently published paper.

Listen here: Podcast: Brady Post on the Considerable Relationship Between Consolidation and Health Care Treatment Intensity