Association between service agreements and frequency of primary care visits in a chinese community health service center

Jing Ding, Wen Jan Tuan, Xueping Du, Kenneth Kushner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: To increase the utilization of Community Health Service (CHS) centers for primary care, the Central Government of China has promoted the use of contracts-known as "service agreements" (SAs)- between patients and primary care physicians. This study sought to identify factors that predict who signed SAs and the association between SAs and frequency of primary care visits in a CHS center in Beijing. Methods: Four years of electronic health record (EHR) data (2015 to 2018) were analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the tendency of patients to establish a SA. The pattern of the primary care visits between the SA and the non-SA groups was compared using Gamma regression models, controlling for demographic and comorbidity conditions. Contrast analysis was performed to assess the odds ratios of signing SAs among levels of a specific patient characteristic. Results: Data from 32,682 adult CHS patients were collected. Of those, 66.4% had signed a SA. Patients who were female, older, more educated, married, employed, insured, or had comorbid conditions were more likely to sign SAs. Overall, having a SA was associated with a higher frequency of primary care visits for women and older patients, but not for the young and educated patients. Conclusions: The evidence provides an important consideration for reducing gaps in the use of primary care services during the nationwide transition from the fee-for-service specialty care system to the patientcentered primary care-driven medical home model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1045-1054
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice


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