“Our data analysis revealed that older diabetic patients who received all of their primary care from nurse practitioners had lower rates of potentially preventable hospitalization than those who received primary care from physicians in nonmetropolitan urban and rural areas,” said lead study author Yong-Fang Kuo, a professor of preventative medicine and community health at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, in a press release. “There were no differences between patients cared for by nurse practitioners versus physicians in urban areas.”

Kuo and her team examined health care information from a national sample of 345,819 diabetic patients receiving Medicare. Researchers chose to focus on diabetic patients because it is a manageable, chronic condition for which good primary care would reduce hospitalizations. Kuo explained that a focus on rural areas was also important because there has been a shortage of physicians in rural areas for the last 30 years, making primary care by nurse practitioners of particular interest.

Read the full article at MedicalDaily.com