HealthDay News — There is considerable variation in office-based physician visit rates by patient age and sex, according to a June data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
Jill J. Ashman, Ph.D., from the NCHS in Hyattsville, Md., and colleagues used data from the 2015 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey to describe the characteristics of office-based physician visits in 2015.
The researchers found that there were an estimated 313 office-based physician visits per 100 persons in 2015. The visit rate was higher among females than males, and for infants and older adults compared to those aged 1 to 64 years.
The primary expected source of payment for the majority of visits by children aged younger than 18 years and adults aged 18 to 64 years was private insurance; the primary expected source of payment for most visits by adults aged 65 years and older was Medicare.
The percentage of visits for preventive care or a new problem was larger for children than adults. The percentage of visits that included a laboratory test, imaging service, or procedure that was ordered or provided was larger for adults than children.
“This report shows that there is wide variation by age in the characteristics of visits to office-based physicians in the United States,” the authors write.