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Patients in a waiting room With limited access to their main PCP, patients with manageable chronic conditions may delay treatment to the point of needing emergency care. (Photo: Shutterstock)

It takes time to establish a relationship with a doctor. But once formed, it sets the stage for both the patient and provider to openly engage, communicate, and trust the treatment plan. This patient-centered, shared decision-making results in higher quality treatment, better health outcomes and lower costs. Healthier patients leads to a healthier community from which employers draw their workforce, which can have a profound impact on an organization’s bottom line.

Unfortunately, patient-provider relationships may be disrupted due to a shortage of primary care providers (PCPs), turnover within practices and plan sponsors’ network changes. To understand how this impacts patients and their employers, IBI drew insights from an analysis by our Thomas Parry research fellow Adrienne Sabety, a PhD candidate in Health Policy Economics at Harvard University. The study shows in detail how disruptions in patient-provider relationships influence health care consumption and overall health, with implications for businesses and workforce health management decisions.

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