To evaluate the comparative effectiveness of external facilitation (EF) vs external + internal facilitation (EF/IF), on uptake of a collaborative chronic care model (CCM) in community practices that were slower to implement under low‐level implementation support.
Primary data were collected from 43 community practices in Michigan and Colorado at baseline and for 12 months following randomization.
Sites that failed to meet a pre‐established implementation benchmark after six months of low‐level implementation support were randomized to add either EF or EF/IF support for up to 12 months. Key outcomes were change in number of patients receiving the CCM and number of patients receiving a clinically significant dose of the CCM. Moderators’ analyses further examined whether comparative effectiveness was dependent on prerandomization adoption, number of providers trained or practice size. Facilitation log data were used for exploratory follow‐up analyses.
Sites reported monthly on number of patients that had received the CCM. Facilitation logs were completed by study EF and site IFs and shared with the study team.
N = 21 sites were randomized to EF and 22 to EF/IF. Overall, EF/IF practices saw more uptake than EF sites after 12 months (Δ = 4.4 patients, 95% CI = 1.87‐6.87). Moderators' analyses, however, revealed that it was only sites with no prerandomization uptake of the CCM (nonadopter sites) that saw significantly more benefit from EF/IF (Δ = 9.2 patients, 95% CI: 5.72, 12.63). For sites with prerandomization uptake (adopter sites), EF/IF offered no additional benefit (Δ = −0.9; 95% CI: −4.40, 2.60). Number of providers trained and practice size were not significant moderators.
Although stepping up to the more intensive EF/IF did outperform EF overall, its benefit was limited to sites that failed to deliver any CCM under the low‐level strategy. Once one or more providers were delivering the CCM, additional on‐site personnel did not appear to add value to the implementation effort.