An evaluation of the influence of primary care team functioning on the health of Medicare beneficiaries

Med Care Res Rev. 2011 Apr;68(2):177-201. doi: 10.1177/1077558710374619. Epub 2010 Sep 9.


In service industries other than health care, unit employees who report a favorable service climate--characterized by commitment to a team concept and intrateam interactions that are supportive, collegial, and collaborative--have high levels of consumer satisfaction and work unit productivity. The authors evaluated whether similar primary care team (PCT) functioning influenced the short-term future health (SF-36) of elderly Medicare beneficiaries (N = 991) in a group model managed care organization (MCO). PCT functioning was assessed by surveys of practitioners and support staff on the MCO's 14 primary care practices and included measures of perceived task delegation, role collaboration, patient orientation, and team ownership. On average, patient physical and emotional health declined over 2 years. Medicare beneficiaries empanelled to relatively high functioning PCTs had significantly better physical and emotional health at 2 years following baseline assessment than those empanelled to relatively low functioning PCTs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Managed Care Programs / standards
  • Managed Care Programs / statistics & numerical data
  • Medicare* / statistics & numerical data
  • Organizational Culture
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Patient Care Team / standards
  • Primary Health Care / standards*
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care
  • United States