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Am Fam Physician. 2002;66(11):2032

Of people 65 years and older who reported an individual provider as their usual source of health care, 60 percent identified a family physician or general practitioner. The Medicare population relies heavily on family physicians.

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) is a national survey sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The 1996 MEPS is the most recent one for which usual source of care data are available. On this survey, 91 percent of respondents 65 years and older reported having a usual source of health care. Seventy-two percent of them identified an individual, and 28 percent identified a facility (clinic, hospital, etc.). Respondents who named an individual as their usual source of health care were most likely to name a family physician or general practitioner (FP/GP). The next most frequently identified providers were general internists (IM).

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