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Extended Office Hours Associated With Lower Health Expenditures

Patients who have access to a regular source of that offers evening and have significantly lower health expenditures than those who do not.

Analyzing data on more than 30,000 patients from the 2000-2008 , researchers found total expenditures were 10 percent lower among patients reporting access to extended hours in two successive years compared with those lacking such access.

The researchers link the association to lower prescription drug and office visit-related (e.g., testing) expenditures. Importantly, the reduced expenditures did not have any apparent adverse effects on mortality.

The authors call for future research to formally test their hypothesis that extended may be associated with relatively judicious use of resources, including more generic medication prescribing and less discretionary testing.

Extended Office Hours and Health Care Expenditures: A National Study
By Anthony Jerant, MD, et al
University of California Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento


September/October 2012 Annals of Family Medicine

American Academy of Family Physicians