High-touch care leads to better outcomes and lower costs in a senior population

Reyan Ghany, Leonardo Tamariz, Gordon Chen, Elissa Dawkins, Alina Ghany, Emancia Forbes, Thiago Tajiri, Ana Palacio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: There are several models of primary care. A form of high-intensity care is a high-touch model that uses a high frequency of encounters to deliver preventive services. The aim of this study is to compare the healthcare utilization of patients receiving 2 models of primary care, 1 with high-touch care and 1 without. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 2 models of care used among Medicare Advantage populations. Model 1 is a high-touch care model, and model 2 is a standard care model. Compared with model 2, model 1 has smaller panel sizes and a higher frequency of encounters. We compared patients’ healthcare utilization and hospitalizations between both models using a propensity score–matched analysis, matching by Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) score, age, and gender. RESULTS: We included 17,711 unmatched Medicare Advantage primary care patients and matched 5695 patients from both models of care. CCI scores, age, and gender were similar between both matched groups (P >.05). The median total per member per month healthcare costs in model 1 were $87 (95% CI, $26-$278) compared with $121 (95% CI, $52-$284) in model 2 (P <.01). The mean number of hospital admissions was lower in model 1 (0.10 ± 0.40) compared with model 2 (0.20 ± 0.58). The number of primary care physician visits and preventive medication use were higher in model 1 (P <.05 for both). CONCLUSIONS: In a propensity-matched sample of Medicare Advantage patients, those receiving high-touch care had lower healthcare costs and fewer hospitalizations. Potential explanations are higher preventive medication use and more frequent visits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e300-e304
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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