Older Patients More Satisfied with Care When Accompanied to Medical Visits

Monday, July 14th, 2008
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

A study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that 38 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are accompanied to routine medical visits. These accompanied beneficiaries tended to be older, sicker and less educated but more satisfied with their healthcare provider compared to unaccompanied patients. The study is published in the July 14 edition of Archives of Internal Medicine. Data for the study was gathered from the nationwide 2004 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, which for the first time included information on beneficiaries’ visit companions. The study included 12,018 Medicare beneficiaries 65 and older living in the community.

  • Visit companions were most often a spouse (53.9 percent) or adult child (31.9 percent). Less than 1 percent of beneficiaries were accompanied by a nurse, nurse’s aid or other professional.
  • More than 60 percent of visit companions participated in the communication process by recording the physician’s instructions (44.1 percent), providing information about the patient’s medical needs (41.6 percent), asking questions (41.1 percent), or explaining the physician’s instructions (29.7 percent).

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