New Data From AAFP Reveals Increased Complexity of Family Physician Visits

A recent snapshot survey of AAFP member physicians finds that patients are seeking more health care services, and patient encounters are becoming more complex.

  • Seven in 10 respondents have experienced an increase in the number of health issues addressed in a   single office visit. 
  • More than half (54 percent) said more patients sought treatment for conditions they had previously ignored.
  • Sixty-two percent noted an increase in patients seeking an annual check-up.
  • More than four in 10 (43 percent) said they witnessed an increase in patients with severe health complications. 

News Release: New Data from AAFP Reveals Increased Complexity of Family Physician Visits

Original Research: Complexity of Ambulatory Care Visits of Patients With Diabetes as Reflected by Diagnoses Per Visit(379 KB PDF)
Office-based visits to primary care physicians for diabetes and other chronic conditions have become increasingly complex. Newly published research by the Robert Graham Center makes the case that, as U.S. legislation moves health care payment toward paying for value and population health, visit complexity should be taken into consideration. Note: This research has not yet appeared in the print edition of Primary Care Diabetes. This PDF provides an advance preview without the need for a paid, online subscription.

Infographic: Family Medicine: Answering the Call(516 KB PDF)
This infographic highlights the findings of the AAFP member snapshot survey. With an uptick in patients seeking comprehensive care, family physicians are uniquely equipped to meet the challenge. 

Altarum Institute Graph: Example Distribution of Visits Across Physician Specialty for each Diagnostic Category: Patients Aged 45 to 64(238 KB PDF)
According to 2006-2008 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey data analyzed by the Altarum Institute, family physicians often treat a larger percentage of complex conditions than many subspecialists--most notably circulatory, endocrine and respiratory disorders.