Home-based primary care practices in the United States: Current state and quality improvement approaches

Bruce Leff, Christine M. Weston, Sarah Garrigues, Kanan Patel, Christine Ritchie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objectives To describe the characteristics of home-based primary care practices: staffing, administrative, population served, care practices, and quality of care challenges. Design Survey of home-based primary care practices. Setting Home-based primary care practices in the United States. Participants Members of the American Academy of Home Care Medicine and nonmember providers identified by surveyed members. Measurements A 58-item questionnaire that assessed practice characteristics, care provided by the practice, and how the quality of care that the practice provided was assessed. Results Survey response rate was 47.9%, representing 272 medical house calls practices. Mean average daily census was 457 patients (median 100 patients, range 1-30,972 patients). Eighty-eight percent of practices offered around-the-clock coverage for urgent concerns, 60% held regularly scheduled team meetings, 89% used an electronic medical record, and one-third used a defined quality improvement process. The following factors were associated with practices that used a defined quality improvement process: practice holds regularly scheduled team meetings to discuss specific patients (odds ratio (OR) = 2.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.02-4.21), practice conducts surveys of patients (OR = 8.53, 95% CI = 4.07-17.88), and practice is involved in National Committee for Quality Assurance patient-centered medical home (OR = 3.27, 95% CI = 1.18-9.07). Ninety percent of practices would or might participate in quality improvement activities that would provide them timely feedback on patient and setting-appropriate quality indicators. Conclusions There is a substantial heterogeneity of home-based primary care practice types. Most practices perform activities that lend themselves to robust quality improvement efforts, and nearly all indicated interest in a national registry to inform quality improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963-969
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • home-based palliative care
  • home-based primary care
  • house calls
  • quality of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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