PURPOSE: Even though pay-for-performance programs are being rapidly implemented, little is known about how patient complexity affects practice-level performance assessment in rural settings. We sought to determine the association between patient complexity and practice-level performance in the rural United States.
BASIC PROCEDURES: Using baseline data from a trial aimed at improving diabetes care, we determined factors associated with a practice's proportion of patients having controlled diabetes (hemoglobin A1c
MAIN FINDINGS: Rural primary care practices (n=135) in 11 southeastern states provided information for 1641 patients with diabetes. For practices in the best quartile of observed control, 76.1% of patients had controlled diabetes vs 19.3% of patients in the worst quartile. After controlling for other variables, proportions of diabetes control were 10% lower in those practices whose patients had the greatest difficulty with either self testing or appointment keeping (p
PRINCIPAL CONCLUSIONS: Basing public reporting and resource allocation on quality assessment that does not account for patient characteristics may further harm this vulnerable group of patients and physicians.
- UMCCTS funding
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jeroan_allison/153/