Characteristics of Practices Used as Usual Source of Care

Characteristics of Practices Used as Usual Source of Care Providers during 2015, a statistical brief from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, provides nationally representative estimates of the characteristics of patients' usual sources of care and to support analyses of the association between practice characteristics and patients' experiences with care, including access to care, service use, quality of care, and expenditures.

The U.S. office-based physician market has experienced substantial changes in recent years. A growing number of office-based physicians are practicing in large group practices, and vertical integration between hospitals and physician group practices through ownership and contractual relationships has accelerated. Understanding organizational characteristics of office-based physicians and how they interact with quality and costs of care is imperative when discussing policies to promote high-quality and efficient health care delivery.

Highlights of Characteristics of Practices Used as Usual Sources of Care

About a quarter of persons who visited their usual source of care practice in 2015 used a practice with only one physician. Practices of 4 to 10 physicians were most common.

A slight majority of persons with a usual source of care provider and who visited them during 2015 had a usual source of care that was an independent practice (54.7 percent).

A substantial majority of practices visited as usual sources of care practices in 2015 included a nurse practitioner or physician's assistant (72.1 percent).

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Page last reviewed April 2017
Page originally created April 2017
Internet Citation: Characteristics of Practices Used as Usual Source of Care. Content last reviewed April 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsroom/meps-usual-source-care.html