Value-based payments are rapidly replacing fee-for-service arrangements, necessitating advancements in physician practice capabilities and functions. The objective of this study was to examine potential differences among family physicians who are owners versus employed with respect to their readiness for value-based payment models. The authors surveyed more than 550 family physicians from the American Academy of Family Physician's membership; nearly 75% had made changes to participate in value-based payments. However, owners were significantly more likely to report that their practices had made no changes in value-based payment capabilities than employed physicians (owners 35.2% vs. employed 18.1%, P < 0.05). This study identified 3 key areas in which physician owners' value-based practice capabilities were not as advanced as the employed physician group: (1) quality improvement strategies, (2) human capital investment, and (3) identification of high-risk patients. Specifically, the employed physician group reported more quality improvement strategies, including quality measures, Plan-Do-Study-Act, root cause analysis, and Lean Six Sigma (P < 0.05 for all). More employed physicians reported that their practices had full-time care management staff (19.8% owners vs. 30.8% employed, P < 0.05), while owners were more likely to report that they had no resources/capacity to hire care managers or care coordinators (31.4% owners vs. 19.4% employed, P < 0.05). Owners were significantly more likely to respond that they do not have the resources/capacity to identify high-risk patients (23.1% owners vs. 19.3% employed, P < 0.05). As public and private payers transition to value-based payments, consideration of different population health management needs according to ownership status has the potential to support the adoption of value-based care delivery for family physicians.
Keywords: physician readiness; practice capabilities; value-based care; value-based payment.