Background: Care management processes (CMPs), tools to improve the efficiency and quality of primary care delivery, are particularly important for low-income patients facing substantial barriers to care.
Objective: To measure the adoption of CMPs by medical groups, Independent Practice Associations, community clinics, and hospital-based clinics in California's Medicaid program and the factors associated with CMP adoption.
Methods: Telephone survey of every provider organization with at least 6 primary care physicians and at least 1 Medi-Cal HMO contract, Spring 2003. One hundred twenty-three organizations participated, accounting for 64% of provider organizations serving Medicaid managed care in California. We surveyed 30 measures of CMP use for asthma and diabetes, and for child and adolescent preventive services.
Results: The mean number of CMPs used by each organization was 4.5 for asthma and 4.9 for diabetes (of a possible 8). The mean number of CMPs for preventive services was 4.0 for children and 3.5 for adolescents (of a possible 7). Organizations with more extensive involvement in Medi-Cal managed care used more CMPs for chronic illness and preventive service. Community clinics and hospital-based clinics used more CMPs for asthma and diabetes than did Independent Practice Associations (IPAs), and profitable organizations used more CMPs for child and adolescent preventive services than did entities facing severe financial constraints. The use of CMPs by Medicaid HMOs and the presence of external (financial and nonfinancial) incentives for clinical performance were strongly associated with use of care management by provider organizations.
Conclusions: Physician and provider organizations heavily involved in California's Medicaid program are extensively engaged in preventive and chronic care management programs.