Purpose — Countries throughout the world have been experimenting with new models to deliver primary care. We investigated physician group, physician and patient characteristics associated with voluntarily joining team-based primary care in Ontario.
Methods — This cross-sectional study linked provincial administrative datasets to form data extractions of interest over time with the earliest in 2005 and the latest in 2013. We generated mixed, generalized chi-square and multivariate models to compare the characteristics of teams and non-teams, both with blended capitation reimbursement, and to examine characteristics associated with joining a team.
Results — Having more physicians per group, being a female physician, having more years under the blended capitation model, having more patients in the lowest income quintile and more patients residing in rural areas were positively associated with joining a team. Being a female physician and having more patients who are males, recent immigrants and living in rural areas were positively associated with the outcome of joining teams in the late phase.
Conclusions — Our study findings indicate that there are differences in physician group, physician and patient characteristics when comparing teams to non-teams. Other jurisdictions aiming to expand physician participation in interprofessional care should note those factors. Researchers looking to understand the impact of team-based care should be aware of pre-existing differences and the need to address selection bias associated with participation in team-based care.
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