Compared with covering physicians or midlevel providers, primary care physicians (PCPs) perform better on multiple critical process measures for diabetes care, according to a study published online in Diabetes Care.

Fritha Morrison, MPH, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed 584,587 encounters between 27,225 diabetes patients and their PCPs. Patients had elevated A1C, blood pressure, and/or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and were monitored for at least two years.

The researchers found that 83% of the encounters were with PCPs, 13% were with covering physicians, and 5% were with midlevel providers. Compared with covering physicians and midlevel providers, PCPs were 49% and 26%, respectively, more likely to intensify drug therapy and 91% and 21% more likely to provide lifestyle counseling. Covering physicians were even less likely, by an additional 52%, to intensify medications during visits with acute complaints, and midlevel providers were a further 41% less likely to provide lifestyle counseling.

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