Good care can keep some ailing elderly out of hospital, study finds

Share this content:

Elderly patients at high risk for bacterial pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may not require hospitalization if experienced physicians care for them, researchers at the Center for Studying Health System Change and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center said.

Patients of doctors in practice for a longer time were at a lower risk for hospitalization for these two common conditions, researchers found. The study analyzed more than 500,000 pneumonia and COPD Medicare patients and nearly 6,000 physicians.

Physicians who reported that clinical practice guidelines played an important role in their practice had fewer patients hospitalized for COPD, according to the study, which appeared in the June issue of the journal Medical Care.