The Effect of Primary Care Provider Turnover on Patient Experience of Care and Ambulatory Quality of Care

In JAMA Internal Medicine, Ashok Reddy and colleagues, including David Asch and Rachel Werner, measure the effect of primary care provider (PCP) turnover on patient experiences of care and ambulatory care quality. For the study, the authors used a nationwide sample of primary care patients in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). They assessed how many patients experienced PCP turnover and looked at five patient care experience measures and 11 measures of quality of ambulatory care. They find that 9% of patients experienced PCP turnover. Those who’d experienced turnover were less likely to give a positive rating of their personal physician and to questions about getting care quickly. However, in nine measures of ambulatory care quality, the difference between patients who experienced no PCP turnover and those who had PCP turnover was less than one percentage point. The authors conclude while PCP turnover is associated with worse patient experiences of care, it does not have a major effect on ambulatory care quality.