Neurologist Care Reduces Hospitalizations in Parkinson’s Disease
You can find out more about NPF's National Medical Director, Dr. Michael S. Okun, by also visiting the NPF Center of Excellence, University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration.
In the October issue of the journal Neurology, Willis and colleagues addressed the impact neurologist care has on hospitalization. Willis and colleagues recently reported in another paper that the involvement of a neurologist in the care of Parkinson’s disease patients reduced morbidity, decreased nursing home placement, and improved overall survival. The researchers examined Medicare beneficiaries over a four year period, and identified those with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. There were 24,929 cases, and of those cases 13,489 had a neurologist involved in their outpatient care. Hospitalizations and repeat hospitalizations occurred less in those who had seen an outpatient neurologist. Those with an outpatient neurologist were less likely to be hospitalized for psychosis, urinary tract infection, or traumatic injuries.
The bottom line for the Parkinson’s disease patient is that having a neurologist involved in your care makes a big difference. Morbidity, mortality, and hospitalization are all curbed by the involvement of a specialist. This current study did not assess whether a neurologist was actually involved in patient’s care when checked in to the hospital, but did assess whether the patient had seen a neurologist as an outpatient prior to their hospitalization. The main finding of the study was that neurologist care reduced hospitalization risk. Outcomes would likely be even better if Parkinson patients could have regularly scheduled visits with a neurologist. The dream scenario would be for patients to retain a neurologist with Parkinson’s disease specialty training, though worldwide there are few of these available.
Posted: 12/4/2012 9:14:58 AM by
Browse current and archived What's Hot in PD? articles, the National Parkinson Foundation's monthly blog for people with Parkinson's written by our National Medical Director, Dr. Michael S. Okun.
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