While the importance of primary care becomes more imminent for older adults to manage multi-morbidities, the perception of primary care among this group is not well examined.
To evaluate the primary care experience among older adults in the United States (US).
We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study examining four domains of primary care: first contact, longitudinality, comprehensiveness, and coordination. Using survey responses from Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), we used propensity score matching method to compare the percentage of geriatric (≥65 years old) and non-geriatric (< 65 years old) who answered favorably to questions that supported each domain from 2014 to 2016. Using multivariate regression, we also assessed the impact of each domain on various demographic and perceived need for care features of older adults.
A total of 12,982 surveys were analyzed for geriatric, compared to 62,694 surveys for non-geriatric. Overall, older adults answered more favorably than younger adults for all four domains. However, uninsured older adults, Black older adults and older adults with limitation in activities, cognitive impairments, and multiple comorbidities were more likely to have difficulties in accessing their usual source of care (USC). Additionally, Black, Hispanic, and Asian older adults and cognitively impaired adults perceived less contribution in their own treatment management.
Older adults in the US generally experience good quality of primary care, compared to younger adults. However, establishing and maintaining access (first contact) and being involved in disease management (coordination) were perceived as poor by several cohorts of older adults.

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