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Association Between HEDIS Performance and Primary Care Physician Age, Group Affiliation, Training, and Participation in ACA Exchanges

Abstract

Background

There are a limited number of studies investigating the relationship between primary care physician (PCP) characteristics and the quality of care they deliver.

Objective

To examine the association between PCP performance and physician age, solo versus group affiliation, training, and participation in California’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange.

Design

Observational study of 2013-2014 data from Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures and select physician characteristics.

Participants

PCPs in California HMO and PPO practices (n = 5053) with part of their patient panel covered by a large commercial health insurance company.

Main Measures

Hemoglobin A1c testing; medical attention nephropathy; appropriate treatment hypertension (ACE/ARB); breast cancer screening; proportion days covered by statins; monitoring ACE/ARBs; monitoring diuretics. A composite performance measure also was constructed.

Key Results

For the average 35- versus 75-year-old PCP, regression-adjusted mean composite relative performance scores were at the 60th versus 47th percentile (89% vs. 86% composite absolute HEDIS scores; p < .001). For group versus solo PCPs, scores were at the 55th versus 50th percentiles (88% vs. 87% composite absolute HEDIS scores; p < .001). The effect of age on performance was greater for group versus solo PCPs. There was no association between scores and participation in ACA exchanges.

Conclusions

The associations between population-based care performance measures and PCP age, solo versus group affiliation, training, and participation in ACA exchanges, while statistically significant in some cases, were small. Understanding how to help older PCPs excel equally well in group practice compared with younger PCPs may be a fruitful avenue of future research.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the California Healthcare Performance Information System for assembling one of the only multi-payer systems in California to provide validated information on provider quality performance ratings.

Author information

Correspondence to Jill R. Glassman PhD, MSW.

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The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.

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Glassman, J.R., Hopkins, D.S.P., Bundorf, M.K. et al. Association Between HEDIS Performance and Primary Care Physician Age, Group Affiliation, Training, and Participation in ACA Exchanges. J GEN INTERN MED (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-020-05642-3

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KEY WORDS

  • primary care
  • health care quality
  • HEDIS performance measures
  • physician age
  • physician characteristics