National Study of Physician Organizations and the Management of Chronic Illness (NSPO), 2000-2001 (ICPSR 4455)

Principal Investigator(s): Shortell, Stephen M., School of Public Health, University of California-Berkeley


The National Study of Physician Organizations and the Management of Chronic Illness (NSPO) examined relationships among physician organization characteristics and the implementation of care management processes (CMP) aimed at improving outcomes and reducing costs for the treatment of four chronic diseases: asthma, congestive heart failure (CHF), depression, and diabetes. To that end, NSPO conducted this national survey of medical groups and independent practice associations (IPA) with 20 or more physicians. An IPA is defined as an organization through which physicians contract with managed care plans. Examples of CMPs include evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, protocols and pathways, case and care management systems, and disease management, demand management, and health promotion programs. Interviews were conducted with the medical director, president, or chief executive officer of each surveyed physician organization. The survey collected data on (1) practice type, size, age, location, and ownership, (2) governance, management, and use of computerized data systems, (3) revenue and overall financial position, (4) physician compensation models, (5) relationships with health plans and degree of risk assumption, and (6) care management and clinical practice -- particularly in regard to asthma, CHF, depression, and diabetes.

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    The data file is restricted from general dissemination for reasons of confidentiality. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete an Agreement for the Use of Confidential Data, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research. Apply for access to these data through the ICPSR restricted data contract portal, which can be accessed via the study home page.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


No downloadable data files available.

Study Description


Shortell, Stephen M. National Study of Physician Organizations and the Management of Chronic Illness (NSPO), 2000-2001. ICPSR04455-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-05-30.

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This study was funded by:

  • California HealthCare Foundation (01-1159)
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (38690, 040087)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    asthma, chronic illnesses, depression (psychology), diabetes, group medical practice, medical care, medical specializations, physicians, primary care

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 2000--2001

Date of Collection:   

  • 2000--2001

Universe:    All medical groups and IPAs in the United States with 20 or more physicians, with the exception of some single-specialty physician organizations composed of specialists who typically do not treat patients for at least one of the chronic diseases of interest (i.e., asthma, CHF, depression, and diabetes). The excluded specialties were radiology, pathology, ophthalmology, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, and/or imaging. Chiropractors, podiatrists, dentists, and optometrists were outside the scope of the study.

Data Type(s):    census/enumeration data


Sample:    The goal of NSPO was to collect data on all members of the universe. Four data sources were used to create the sampling frame: the Dorland Healthcare Information 2000 Directory of Physician Groups, the Virginia Commonwealth University Physician Organization Inventory, The National IPA Coalition membership list, and the Medical Group Management Association database. The four sources were used to construct an inventory of medical groups and IPAs with 20 or more physicians, resulting in a contact database of 3,233 organizations, of which 1,646 were found to be ineligible because they could not be located or were no longer in business, were duplicate listings, or did not meet the eligibility criteria. Kaiser Permanente cases were included only on a regional basis, so individual Permanente units were excluded. Of the 1,587 organizations determined to be eligible for the study, 1,104 (69.6 percent) completed the interview.

Mode of Data Collection:    computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI)

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2006-05-30

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