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28.01.2020 | Original Research | Ausgabe 6/2020

Journal of General Internal Medicine 6/2020

Components of the Patient-Centered Medical Home Associated with Perceived Access to Primary Care

Journal of General Internal Medicine > Ausgabe 6/2020
MD, MS Linnaea Schuttner, MS Eric Gunnink, MA Philip Sylling, PhD Leslie Taylor, MD, MPH Stephan D. Fihn, MD, MSHS Karin Nelson
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11606-020-05668-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.



Following implementation of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), access to primary care improved. However, understanding of how this occurred is lacking.


To examine the association between organizational aspects of the PCMH model and access-related initiatives with patient perception of access to urgent, same-day, and routine care within the VA.




Veterans who responded to the annual Survey of Healthcare Experiences of Patients in 2016 (N = 241,122 patients) and primary staff who responded to VA National Primary Care Provider and Staff Survey (N = 4815 staff).

Main Measures

Three outcomes of perception of access: percentage of patients responding in the highest category for same-day care (waiting ≤ 1 day), urgent care (always receiving care when needed), and routine care (always receiving checkups when desired). Predictors were staff-level report of access-related initiatives and organizational factors in the clinic. We used generalized estimating equations to model associations, adjusting for characteristics of patients and their respective clinics.

Key Results

Access was significantly better in clinics where staff reviewed performance reports (+ 0.9% in the highest perception of access for urgent care, P < 0.01; + 1.2% for routine care, P < 0.001), leadership was supportive of the PCMH (+ 1.6% for urgent care, P < 0.01), and initiatives to improve access included open access (+ 0.8% to + 1.7% across all outcomes, P < 0.01) and telehealth visits (+ 1.2% to + 1.4%, P < 0.001). Perceived access was worse in clinics with moderate staff burnout (− 1.1% to − 1.4%, P < 0.001), primary care provider turnover during the past year (− 1.0% to − 1.6%, P < 0.001), or medical support assistant turnover in the past year (− 0.9% to − 1.4%, P < 0.001).


Perception of access was strongly associated with identifiable organizational factors and access-related initiatives within VA primary care clinics that could be adopted by other health systems.

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