HSR&D Citation Abstract
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Measuring patient-centered medical home access and continuity in clinics with part-time clinicians.
Rosland AM, Krein SL, Kim HM, Greenstone CL, Tremblay A, Ratz D, Saffar D, Kerr EA. Measuring patient-centered medical home access and continuity in clinics with part-time clinicians. The American journal of managed care. 2015 May 1; 21(5):e320-8.
Common patient-centered medical home (PCMH) performance measures value access to a single primary care provider (PCP), which may have unintended consequences for clinics that rely on part-time PCPs and team-based care.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS:
Retrospective analysis of 110,454 primary care visits from 2 Veterans Health Administration clinics from 2010 to 2012. Multi-level models examined associations between PCP availability in clinic, and performance on access and continuity measures. Patient experiences with access and continuity were compared using 2012 patient survey data (N = 2881).
Patients of PCPs with fewer half-day clinic sessions per week were significantly less likely to get a requested same-day appointment with their usual PCP (predicted probability 17% for PCPs with 2 sessions/week, 20% for 5 sessions/week, and 26% for 10 sessions/week). Among requests that did not result in a same-day appointment with the usual PCP, there were no significant differences in same-day access to a different PCP, or access within 2 to 7 days with patients' usual PCP. Overall, patients had > 92% continuity with their usual PCP at the hospital-based site regardless of PCP sessions/week. Patients of full-time PCPs reported timely appointments for urgent needs more often than patients of part-time PCPs (82% vs 71%; P < .01), but reported similar experiences with routine access and continuity.
Part-time PCP performance appeared worse when using measures focused on same-day access to patients' usual PCP. However, clinic-level same-day access, same-week access to the usual PCP, and overall continuity were similar for patients of part-time and full-time PCPs. Measures of in-person access to a usual PCP do not capture alternate access approaches encouraged by PCMH, and often used by part-time providers, such as team-based or non-face-to-face care.