By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Does using more than one medical clinic affect the overall care you receive?

A new study by Penn Medicine  researchers indicates it can, reducing the quality of care.

University of Pennsylvania assistant professor of medicine Dr. Baligh Yehia and his colleagues looked at patients visiting HIV clinics to find out if going to several, rather than one, affected the care the patients received.

They found duplicated services and medications, and increased costs.

Dr. Yehia thinks the study applies to more than just HIV and AIDS.  He notes that HIV/AIDS is a chronic condition, with issues similar to other longterm medical conditions.

“It’s a disease that you have to take medicine every day to help and treat,” he tells KYW Newsradio, “and so there may be parallels for other diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease.   So this could maybe provide some insight and opportunities as to whether patients are seen at more than one site with other chronic diseases.”

He says doctors with patients who go to different clinics should talk to each other to keep care consistent and cost-effective.

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