In response to health care reform, health care providers have begun to develop interorganizational networks. At present, however, relatively little is known about factors facilitating participation in networks. To this end, organizational characteristics and views were obtained from key informants from both "Lead" and "Affiliate" Agencies participating in the networks for the Living-at-Home Program (LAHP) Demonstration (N = 131) using an Organizational Change Survey. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine factors related to network member agencies' participation. Significant relationships were found between decreased participation and lack of agreement between network agencies regarding expectations (P = 0.02), membership in a network with a Medical Lead Agency (P < 0.01), and Lead Agency inexperience (P < 0.01). Agencies with lower ratings of the impact that LAHP had on their community were more likely to decrease their participation (P = 0.01). The number of unoccupied nursing home beds in the community was positively and significantly related to decreased participation (P < 0.001). These results suggest that leadership skills of the Lead Agency, and in particular, experience, may be among the chief requirements for the creation and development of successful networks, and confirm that inexperienced Lead Agencies may face an uphill battle in terms of recruiting and maintaining network members.
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