Term: Continuity Of Care (COC) (Ambulatory)

Glossary Definition

Last Updated: 2020-02-24


Continuity of Care (COC) measures the extent to which an indivudal patient sees a given provider over a specified period of time. In MCHP research, the focus of COC is on ambulatory visits to a provider.

In Katz et al. (2004), they "defined continuity of care as the proportion of the total care provided to a patient by any one particular physician during the study year. The continuity of care score for each physician represents an average of the proportion of care (measured by the cost of real visits) that a physician provided to all the patients who accessed him/her for care compared to other physicians who provided care for those same patients. Possible scores on the Continuity of Care Index (COCI) range from just greater than zero to one. For example, a physician who was a patient's only primary care physician (and who provided all care during the study year) is allocated a score of 1 for that patient. For a patient who accessed two physicians for equal proportions of his/her care, each of those physicians are allocated a score of 0.5."


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