Primary care in Durham County: who gives care to whom?
The purpose of this study is to describe quantitatively the primary health care system of a defined population. The ambulatory care services of private practices and institutions in Durham County, North Carolina were sampled four times during 1975-1976 to determine the relative contributions to primary care made by specified types of practice and sources of care. All the institutions and 96 per cent of practicing physicians participated. Utilization of primary care services was analyzed by race, sex, age and health insurance status. One striking finding is the predominant role in the delivery of primary care played by the private specialists practicing in the community in contrast to the relatively small role of the university teaching hospital. Another important finding is the low proportion of blacks and Medicaid patients served by these community physicians. Thirdly, removal of legal and financial barriers has made little impact as yet on the patterns of health care delivery established before the institution of mandatory integration of health services. Since these findings have broad implications for health care delivery, this study warrants replication in other settings.
Thacker, SB; Salber, EJ; Osborne, C; Muhlbaier, LH
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