Referrals from Family Practitioners to Specialists in Ambulatory Care in Baden-Württemberg Before Implementation of Managed Primary Care Contracts

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2011.0415

german translation / full article

Markus Gulich, Dagmar Gröber-Grätz, Hans-Peter Zeitler

Keywords: Family Practitioner Specialist Referrals Referral Rates Coordination Primary Care

Background: Coordination is a primary role of family practitioners and is required by newly implemented health care models in Germany. Referrals to specialists are the principal means to fulfil this role. Here, we describe the magnitude and distribution of family practitioners‘ referrals to specialists and patients‘ usage in Baden-Württemberg before implementation of primary care contracts with health care funds.

Method: Quantitative analysis of settlement data from the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians Baden-Württemberg in the year 2008.

Results: In Baden-Württemberg there were 9.2 mio. referrals in 2008, 43.9% issued by family practitioners. Per case family practitioners issued 0.59 referrals. Most FP referrals were issued by family practitioners for cardiologists (51.5%), haematologists (46.2%), pneumologists (41.8%), and neurologists, (41.7%), least referrals for anesthetist (8.5%) and paediatricians (0.4%). Family practitioners in large practices do not differ from those in small ones.

Conclusions: Here, we describe for the first time the referral behaviour of family practitioners in a large population in Germany. Data are suitable as basis before the implementation of managed primary care contracts with health care funds.

(State: 10.11.2011)

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