Geographic Variations in Physician Relationships Over Time: Implications for Care Coordination

Eva H. DuGoff, Juhee Cho, Yajuan Si, Craig Evan Pollack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Care coordination may be more challenging when the specific physicians with whom primary care physicians (PCPs) are expected to coordinate care change over time. Using Medicare data on physician patient-sharing relationships and the Dartmouth Atlas, we explored the extent to which PCPs tend to share patients with other physicians over time. We found that 70.7% of ties between PCPs and other physicians that were present in 2012 persisted in 2013, and additional shared patients in 2012 increased the odds of being connected in 2013. Regions with higher persistent ties tended to have lower rates of emergency room visits, and regions where PCPs had more physician connections were more likely to have higher emergency room visits. The results point to potential opportunities and challenges faced by health care reforms that seek to improve coordination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)586-611
Number of pages26
JournalMedical Care Research and Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • care coordination
  • physician referral network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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