NSPO header

The NSPO team, January 2012

For the last decade, the National Survey of Physician Organizations has collected extensive data from physician organizations of all sizes.

Overall, this study aims to provide healthcare organizations and researchers important data on the management of chronic illness as it relates to physician organizations.

The survey has collected information on practice size, ownership, type, and volume of patients seen; management and governance of the organization; compensation models; relationships with health plans; and implementation of care management processes (CMPs) and quality improvement approaches - with a specific focus on four key chronic illnesses (asthma, congestive heart failure, depression, and diabetes).

The term "care management processes" is used to include the implementation of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, protocols and pathways, care management systems, and disease management programs.

Study Rounds


The third round of the National Study of Physician Organizations (NSPO3) will collect extensive data from over 2000 physician organizations of all sizes. The NSPO team began collecting responses for NSPO3 in October 2011 and will continue through 2012.


The National Study of Small and Medium-sized Physician Practices (NSSMPP) provided information about physician practices with 1-19 physicians, focusing on practices’ use of information technology and organized care management processes.

NSSMPP was also designed to assist the Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), by providing baseline data for small and medium-sized practices in AF4Q communities.


The second round of the National Survey of Physician Organizations (NSPO2) assessed the status of CMPs and preventive services use as well as their key drivers and the extent to which these factors have changed over time. The national survey was conducted March 2006 to March 2007. The public version of the NSPO2 dataset is available from the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).


The first round of the National Survey of Physician Organizations (NSPO1) was conducted September 2000 to September 2001. The survey aimed to create a national database on physician organizations (both medical groups and IPAs) of 20 physicians or more. The public version of the NSPO1 dataset is available from the ICPSR.