Patient Experience Midway Through a Large Primary Care Practice Transformation Initiative

Publisher: American Journal of Managed Care, vol. 23, no. 3
Mar 15, 2017
Authors
Kaylyn E. Swankoski, Deborah N. Peikes, Stacy B. Dale, Nancy A. Clusen, Nikkilyn Morrison, John J. Holland, Timothy J. Day, and Randall S. Brown
Objectives. To determine how the multipayer Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) initiative that transforms primary care delivery affects the patient experience of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. The study examines how experience changed between the first and second years of CPC, how ratings of CPC practices have changed relative to ratings of comparison practices, and areas in which practices still have opportunities to improve patient experience.

Study Design. Prospective study using 2 serial cross-sectional samples of more than 25,000 Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries attributed to 496 CPC practices and nearly 9000 beneficiaries attributed to 792 comparison practices. 

Methods. We analyzed patient experience 8 to 12 months and 21 to 24 months after CPC began, measured using 6 domains of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Clinician and Group 12-Month Survey with Patient-Centered Medical Home supplemental items. We compared changes over time in patients giving the best responses between CPC and comparison practices using a regression-adjusted difference-in-differences analysis.

Results. Patient ratings of care over time were generally comparable for CPC and comparison practices, with slightly more favorable differences—generally of small magnitude—for CPC practices than expected by chance. There were small, statistically significant, favorable effects for 2 of 6 composite measures measured using both the proportion giving the best responses and mean responses: getting timely appointments, care, and information; providers support patients in taking care of their own health; and providers discuss medication decisions. There was an additional small favorable effect on the proportion of patients giving the best response in getting timely appointments, care, and information; there was no effect on the mean.

Conclusions. During the first 2 years of CPC, CPC practices showed slightly better year-to-year patient experience ratings for selected items, indicating that transformation did not negatively affect patient experience and improved some aspects slightly. Patient ratings for the 2 groups were generally comparable, and both faced substantial room for improvement.