Adoption of Patient Engagement Strategies by Physician Practices in the United States

Med Care. 2022 Sep 1;60(9):691-699. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000001748. Epub 2022 Jul 14.


Background: Patient engagement strategies can equip patients with tools to navigate treatment decisions and improve patient-centered outcomes. Despite increased recognition about the importance of patient engagement, little is known about the extent of physician practice adoption of patient engagement strategies nationally.

Methods: We analyzed data collected from the National Survey of Healthcare Organizations and Systems (NSHOS) on physician practice adoption of patient engagement strategies. Stratified-cluster sampling was used to select physician practices operating under different organizational structures. Multivariable linear regression models estimated the association of practice ownership, health information technology functionality, use of screening activities, patient responsiveness, chronic care management processes, and the adoption of patient engagement strategies, including shared decision-making, motivational interviewing, and shared medical appointments. All regression models controlled for participation in payment reforms, practice size, Medicaid revenue percentage, and geographic region.

Results: We found modest and varied adoption of patient engagement strategies by practices of different ownership types, with health system-owned practices having the lowest adoption of ownership types. Practice capabilities, including chronic care management processes, routine screening of medical and social risks, and patient care dissemination strategies were associated with greater practice-level adoption of patient engagement strategies.

Conclusions: This national study is the first to characterize the adoption of patient engagement strategies by US physician practices. We found modest adoption of shared decision-making and motivational interviewing, and low adoption of shared medical appointments. Risk-based payment reform has the potential to motivate greater practice-level patient engagement, but the extent to which it occurs may depend on internal practice capabilities.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Medicaid
  • Medical Informatics*
  • Ownership
  • Patient Participation
  • Physicians*
  • United States