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Fewer unplanned admissions for small practices

27 August 2014

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Small practices have significantly lower numbers of unplanned admissions, a new study has discovered. 

The study, from the Commonwealth Fund, found that small or single-handed practices had 33% fewer preventable hospital admissions than practices with 10-19 GPs. 

Practices with three to nine GPs had 27% fewer admissions than the large practices, researchers found. 

Through looking at 1,045 primary care practices in the US, researchers at the Commonwealth Fund found that electronic prescribing had no impact on lowering unplanned admissions. 

And there were also significantly lower admission rates in practices owned by the doctors. 

The authors write: “The common assumption that bigger is better should not be accepted without question, at least in practices of 19 or fewer physicians.

“Policymakers and insurers should consider taking steps to help small practices share resources. Independent practice organisations also can help smaller practices adopt patient-centred medical home processes.” 

A summary of the study is available to view on the Commonwealth Fund website