The Impact of Medicaid Primary Care Case Management (PCCM) on Office-Based Physician Supply in Alabama and Georgia

The Child Health Insurance Research Initiative (CHIRI[TM]) is an effort to supply policymakers information to help them improve access to, and the quality of, health care for low-income children.

This paper was presented at the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy Meetings, June 2001, in Atlanta, GA, and will be published in the fall 2003 issue of the journal Inquiry.

By E. Kathleen Adams, Emory University, Janet Bronstein, University of Alabama, and Curtis S. Florence, Emory University.

Research Objective

The success of the primary care Case management (PCCM) form of managed care implemented in many state Medicaid programs over the past several years depends in part on the expanded availability of primary care physician sites to substitute for hospital-based outpatient care and to provide a medical home for enrollees. However, the PCCM requirement for physicians to accept assignment of a caseload of patients and to provide all of their primary care likely conflicts with the approach of limited Medicaid participation favored by many Medicaid physician participants. This study examines the early impact of PCCM implementation, in the absence of physician reimbursement level increases, on the patterns of Medicaid participation by physicians in communities in Alabama and Georgia.

Data Sources

This study takes advantage of the phase-in of PCCM by county in Alabama (1996-99) and Georgia (1994-97) to examine its effect on several dimensions of Medicaid physician availability. Medicaid claims data for children between birth and age 18 were examined to identify the number of physician sites providing care to Medicaid-covered children and the number of visits they provided.

Principal Findings

Implementation of PCCM under a phase-in process was often associated with reductions in the proportion of physicians participating in Medicaid, in the number of very small Medicaid practices and in declines in Medicaid visit volumes across all participating physicians. The study also finds evidence of an overall reduction in the number of primary care visits per Medicaid enrollee, but an increase in the proportion of these visits that were for preventive care services associated with initial PCCM implementation.

Page last reviewed October 2014
Page originally created September 2003
Internet Citation: The Impact of Medicaid Primary Care Case Management (PCCM) on Office-Based Physician Supply in Alabama and Georgia. Content last reviewed October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.