Study of the generalist role of medical specialists and its impact on patients

The Foundation's Generalist Provider Research Initiative was designed to support a series of research projects to identify, analyze, and assess the opportunities and constraints that determine the current generalist/specialist mix and distribution that affect various efforts to generate change.The American health care system relies largely on specialist physicians to provide medical care to the public. This care includes a substantial amount of what is usually classified as primary or principal care. Even with the growth of managed care, specialists must, and do, provide primary medical services to some subset of their patients. But very little is known about the "hidden system of primary care." The purpose of this project is to answer the following questions about the generalist role of specialists: (1) To what extent do specialists act as principal care physicians for the patients they treat? Are there differences across specialties? (2) Do specialists and generalists differ in the way they provide principal care to matched subsets of their practice populations? and (3) Are there differences in the utilization and cost of resources used by specialists and generalists acting as principal care physicians for case mix-adjusted patient populations? This project will address these questions using secondary data sets compiled by the Medicare program for the State of Washington in the years 1992 and 1993.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $425,822.00

Awarded on: 6/22/1995

Time frame: 7/1/1995 - 6/30/1998

Grant Number: 26061


University of Washington School of Medicine

325 9th Avenue
Seattle, 98104-2420


Roger A. Rosenblatt
Project Director