Time From Booking Until Appointment and Healthcare Utilization in Hand Surgery Patients With Discretionary Conditions
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CitationKuntz, Michael T. 2015. Time From Booking Until Appointment and Healthcare Utilization in Hand Surgery Patients With Discretionary Conditions. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Medical School.
Kuntz M, Teunis T, Blauth J, Ring D. (2015) Time from Booking Until Appointment and Healthcare Utilization in Hand Surgery Patients with Discretionary Conditions. Journal of Hand and Microsurgery [ePub ahead of print]. DOI: 10.1007/s12593-015-0198-y.
AbstractDelaying medical therapy for benign musculoskeletal conditions may allow patients to
develop coping strategies, resulting in less need for medical intervention and reduced cost.
Our primary question was whether time from booking until appointment is associated with
healthcare costs. Our secondary question was whether time from booking to appointment is
associated with healthcare utilizations, including imaging, injections, nerve conduction
studies, occupational therapy visits, surgery, referrals, and second opinions.
We identified 16,750 patients making a first clinic visit to a hand surgery practice from 2003
through 2012. Utilizations were determined until the patient’s second visit. Costs were
determined in Relative Value Units. In multivariable models, duration between booking and
office visit was not associated with higher cost. Duration between booking and office visit
was associated with a higher rate of nerve conduction studies (P < 0.001) and a lower rate
of occupational therapy (P < 0.001). We observed substantial variation in cost and
utilization based on treating surgeon. In a setting with relatively short wait times, greater
wait time was not therapeutic, but is associated with different diagnostic and treatment
measures. The variations by surgeon may make variations based on other factors including
time between booking and appointment difficult to discern.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:17295874