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J Gen Intern Med. 2018 Oct;33(10):1774-1779. doi: 10.1007/s11606-018-4530-7. Epub 2018 Jul 3.

Workforce Configurations to Provide High-Quality, Comprehensive Primary Care: a Mixed-Method Exploration of Staffing for Four Types of Primary Care Practices.

Author information

1
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD, USA. David.Meyers@ahrq.hhs.gov.
2
Abt Associates, Boston, MA, USA.
3
Bailit Health, Needham, MA, USA.
4
MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation, Seattle, WA, USA.
5
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Broad consensus exists about the value and principles of primary care; however, little is known about the workforce configurations required to deliver it.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to explore the team configurations and associated costs required to deliver high-quality, comprehensive primary care.

METHODS:

We used a mixed-method and consensus-building process to develop staffing models based on data from 73 exemplary practices, findings from 8 site visits, and input from an expert panel. We first defined high-quality, comprehensive primary care and explicated the specific functions needed to deliver it. We translated the functions into full-time-equivalent staffing requirements for a practice serving a panel of 10,000 adults and then revised the models to reflect the divergent needs of practices serving older adults, patients with higher social needs, and a rural community. Finally, we estimated the labor and overhead costs associated with each model.

RESULTS:

A primary care practice needs a mix of 37 team members, including 8 primary care providers (PCPs), at a cost of $45 per patient per month (PPPM), to provide comprehensive primary care to a panel of 10,000 actively managed adults. A practice requires a team of 52 staff (including 12 PCPs) at $64 PPPM to care for a panel of 10,000 adults with a high proportion of older patients, and 50 staff (with 10 PCPs) at $56 PPPM for a panel of 10,000 with high social needs. In rural areas, a practice needs 22 team members (with 4 PCPs) at $46 PPPM to serve a panel of 5000 adults.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our estimates provide health care decision-makers with needed guideposts for considering primary care staffing and financing and inform broader discussions on primary care innovations and the necessary resources to provide high-quality, comprehensive primary care in the USA.

KEYWORDS:

health care delivery; primary care; team-based care; workforce

PMID:
29971635
PMCID:
PMC6153217
DOI:
10.1007/s11606-018-4530-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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