Health Services Research & Development

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Annis AM, Harris M, Kim HM, Rosland AM, Krein SL. Trends in primary care encounters across professional roles in PCMH. The American journal of managed care. 2018 Jul 1; 24(7):e222-e229.
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Abstract: OBJECTIVES: Team-based care models, including the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), are increasingly promoted to improve the delivery of primary care. However, evaluation measures are often reported at a clinic or primary care provider (PCP) level, creating challenges in describing and analyzing the use and impact of non-PCP clinician team members. Thus, we aimed to measure clinician-specific care delivery trends and determine whether trends were responsive to systemwide PCMH implementation. STUDY DESIGN: Interrupted time-series analysis of 57 million primary care encounters among 5 million veterans at 764 Veterans Health Administration primary care clinics from 2009 to 2013. METHODS: Retrospective data identified patient encounters attributable to 12 types of clinicians, yielding an encounters-by-clinician metric. Negative binomial regression modeled the monthly clinic-level rates of encounters for each type of clinician, before and during PCMH implementation. RESULTS: Over 5 years, the percentage of encounters by non-PCP clinicians increased from 29% to 35%. Monthly encounter rates for nurses and social workers significantly increased by 0.5% and 1.3%, respectively, after the introduction of PCMH, whereas PCP encounter rates significantly decreased over time. Encounter trends for pharmacists, nutritionists, and behavioral health clinicians did not significantly change. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated the feasibility of capturing care delivered by a full complement of team members using routinely collected data. Findings suggest that the proportions of care delivered by non-PCP clinicians were sensitive to a change in care delivery model. As team-based care models expand, availability and use of metrics that account for care by all team members are critical for inferring clinician-related effects on outcomes.