Comparison of primary care teams in Barcelona according to management formulas

  • Guarga A
  • Gil M
  • Manzanera R
  • et al.
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OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study is to compare, among socio-economically similar areas, the use of medical services, clinical practice and pharmacy costs depending on the how the primary healthcare teams, that provide these services, are organized according to different managemental formulas. DESIGN: Descriptive study of the evaluation of health care services. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The population units (basic health areas) attended by the reformed primary health care services in Barcelona were classified into three levels according to the population's socioeconomic status (high, medium or low). For each level, two primary health care teams were selected representing different primary health care providers: "Institut Catala de la Salut"; and others. The influence of both the provision option and the population characteristics on service use, clinical practice and costs of prescription were compared. MAIN RESULTS: The services offered by the two provision options differ. However, the use of medical services is related to the socioeconomic characteristics and not to the option for service provision. Whilst there are no relevant differences in clinical practice between the different options, we observed variations among different primary care teams, notably in referrals to specialists and influenza vaccine coverage. The greater source of variation in prescription costs seems to be related to an external confounding factor. CONCLUSIONS: Empirical data have not identified relevant differences in the pattern of use, clinical practice, or costs between the different options for service provision within the model of reformed primary care services. Observed variations seem to be associated mainly with the population's characteristics, its pattern of health service use or other external confounding factors.




Guarga, A., Gil, M., Manzanera, R., Pasarín, M., Armengol, R., & Sintes, J. (2000). Comparison of primary care teams in Barcelona according to management formulas. Atencion Primaria / Sociedad Española de Medicina de Familia y Comunitaria, 26(9), 600–606.

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