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Empanelment is the act of assigning individual patients to individual primary care providers (PCP) and care teams with sensitivity to patient and family preference. Empanelment is the basis for population health management and the key to continuity of care. The goal of focusing on a population of patients is to ensure that every established patient receives optimal care, whether he/she regularly comes in for visits or not. Accepting responsibility for a finite number of patients, instead of the universe of patients seeking care in the practice, allows the provider and care team to focus more directly on the needs of each patient.

Key changes for Empanelment:

  • Assign all patients to a provider panel and confirm assignments with providers and patients; review and update panel assignments on a regular basis.
  • Assess practice supply and demand, and balance patient load accordingly.
  • Use panel data and registries to proactively contact, educate, and track patients by disease status, risk status, self-management status, community and family need.

Empanelment Resources

Implementation Guides

Empanelment Executive Summary

Empanelment: Establishing Patient-Provider Relationships
This Implementation Guide offers step-by-step instructions for assigning and managing panels and strategies for sustaining the effort over time.


Patient Acuity Rubric
Determining the Right Panel Size
Addressing Staff Pushback for Empanelment
Sample PCP Assignment Policy
Scripting for Appointment Scheduling
Sample Provider Staffing and Scheduling Policy


Accommodating Part-Time Providers and Residents in the Medical Home (August 3, 2010)
Moderator: Donna Daniel, PhD, Qualis Health
Speakers: L. Gordon Moore, MD, Ideal Medical Practices; Rob Reid, MD, PhD, Group Health Research Institute; Ed Wagner, MD, MPH, MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at the Group Health Research Institute
Audio & video program
Presentation slides

Knowledge Building Session: Empanelment (October 1, 2009)
Speaker: Amit Shah, MD, Multnomah County Health Department
Audio program
Presentation slides

Primary Care Renewal Core Components: Change Packages (July 2009)
Presentation slides