Background: Enthusiasm for the concept of care management (CM) has led to unprecedented growth in the number of guidelines and protocols, but provider organizations have struggled to enlist the active support and participation of physicians in CM activities.
Objectives: To empirically examine the factors influencing physician participation in and attitudes toward CM activities.
Methods: Data on 1,514 physicians were used to predict physician attitudes toward CM and their perceptions of group CM behaviors. Dependent variables were modeled using two-stage Heckman selection bias models with fixed effects corrections. Independent predictors included physician- and group-level controls as well as six potential CM participation and attitude facilitators.
Results: Physician participation in the implementation phase of CM activities was positively related to participation and attitude. However, physician participation in the development phase may be negatively related to later participation in CM activities. Management involvement in development phase has mixed effects (positive or no effect), but their involvement in the implementation phase was somewhat negatively related to CM participation and attitude. Financial incentives for participation in CM activities and presence of a useful management information system also appeared to be positively related to attitude and participation.
Conclusions: Appropriate physician and management involvement, as well as financial incentives and useful management information systems may facilitate physician participation in CM activities. Physician involvement in implementation of CM practices appears to be important, whereas their involvement in the development phase may be negatively related to later attitudes and participation. The findings call for a more in-depth understanding of the timing of physician input in CM activities.