COVID-19 Impacts on Primary Care Clinic Care Management Processes

Leif I. Solberg, Caroline S. Carlin, Kevin A. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


PURPOSE To learn whether the COVID-19 pandemic’s disruptions and associated reduced health outcomes for people with chronic conditions might have been caused by a decrease in care management processes (CMPs) in primary care clinics METHODS Longitudinal cohort design with repeated survey-based measures of CMPs from 2017, 2019, and 2021 in 269 primary care clinics in Minnesota. RESULTS There were only small differences in organizational characteristics and no differences in overall CMPs between the 269 clinics analyzed and the 287 that only completed surveys in 1 or 2 years. Overall CMP scores rose by similar amounts (1.6% and 2.1%) from 2017 to 2019 and from 2019 to 2021. In 2021, CMP scores were lower in small medical groups than in large medical groups in 2017 (66.1% vs 78.5%, P <.001), a similar difference to that in 2017. Care management process scores were also lower in clinics in urban areas compared with rural areas (73.9% vs 79.0%, P <.001), but overall scores in all subgroups were higher in 2021 than in 2017. This improvement occurred despite reports from 55% of clinic leaders that the pandemic had been very or extremely disruptive. CONCLUSIONS Although quite disrupted by the pandemic, care management processes for chronic disease care in these resilient primary care clinics actually increased from 2019 to 2021, at least in clinics that were part of large organizations. However, that was not true for clinics from smaller groups and perhaps for other areas of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-45
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of family medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding support: Research reported in this study was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R18DK110732. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Annals of Family Medicine, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • COVID-19
  • patient care management
  • primary health care
  • quality of health care

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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