Quality care in seniors with new-onset rheumatoid arthritis: a Canadian perspective.
ABSTRACT To estimate the percentage of seniors with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) receiving disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) within the first year of diagnosis.
We assembled an incident RA cohort from Ontario physician billing data for 1997-2006. We used a standard algorithm to identify 24,942 seniors with RA based on ≥ 2 billing codes ≥ 60 days apart but within 5 years. Drug exposures were obtained from pharmacy claims data. We followed subjects for 1 year, assessing if they had been exposed (defined as ≥ 1 prescription) to 1 or more DMARDs within the first year of RA diagnosis. We assessed secular trends and differences for subjects who had received rheumatology care (defined as ≥ 1 rheumatology encounter) versus those who had not.
In total, only 39% of the 24,942 seniors with new-onset RA identified over 1997-2006 were exposed to DMARD therapy within 1 year of diagnosis. This increased from 30% in 1997 to 53% in 2006. Patients whose care involved a rheumatologist were more likely to be exposed to DMARDs than those who had no rheumatology care. In 2006, 67% of subjects receiving rheumatology care were exposed to DMARDs versus 21% of those with no rheumatology care.
Improvements in RA care have occurred, but more efforts are needed. Subjects receiving rheumatology care are much more likely to receive DMARDs as compared to those with no rheumatology care. This emphasizes the key role of rheumatologists.
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ABSTRACT: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are at risk for substantial morbidity because of their arthritis and premature mortality due to comorbid diseases. However, little is known about the quality of the health care that these patients receive. To assess the quality of the health care that rheumatoid arthritis patients receive for their arthritis, comorbid diseases, and health care maintenance and to determine the effect of patterns of specialty care on quality. Historical cohort study of 1355 adult rheumatoid arthritis patients enrolled in the fee-for-service or discounted fee-for-service plans of a nationwide US insurance company. Patients were identified and followed up through administrative data between 1991 and 1995. Quality scores for arthritis, comorbid disease, and health care maintenance were developed from performance on explicit process measures that related to each of these domains and described the percentage of indicated health care processes performed within each domain during each person-year of the study. During 4598 person-years of follow-up, quality scores were 62% (95% confidence interval [CI], 61%-64%) for arthritis care, 52% (95% CI, 49%-55%) for comorbid disease care, and 42% (95% CI, 40%-43%) for health care maintenance. Across domains, care patterns including relevant specialists yielded performance scores 30% to 187% higher than those that did not (P<.001) and 45% to 67% of person-years were associated with patterns of care that did not include a relevant specialist. Presence of primary care without specialty care yielded health care maintenance scores that were 43% higher than those for patterns that included neither primary nor relevant specialty care (P<.001). In this population, health care quality appears to be suboptimal for arthritis, comorbid disease, and health care maintenance. Patterns of care that included relevant specialists were associated with substantially higher quality across all domains. Patterns that included generalists were associated with substantially higher quality health care maintenance than patterns that included neither a generalist nor a relevant specialist. The optimal roles of primary care physicians and specialists in the care of patients with complex conditions should be reassessed. JAMA. 2000;284:984-992JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 01/2000; 284(8):984-92. · 29.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To assess the longterm effect of delaying therapy with second-line agents in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA). One hundred nineteen patients who participated in a 9 month placebo controlled randomized trial of hydroxychloroquine sulfate (HCQ) were followed prospectively for an additional 3 years. Those randomized to HCQ are referred to as the early treatment group and those randomized to placebo as the delayed treatment group. Participants were assessed annually for pain [Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales (AIMS) and Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ)], physical disability (AIMS and HAQ), and the RA global well being scale (AIMS). Conversion of results into standard deviation (SD) units permitted defining a substantial difference as per Felson as > 0.30 SD units and a clinically indistinguishable difference as < or = 0.06 SD units. One hundred fifteen patients (97%) participated and complete data were available on 104 (87%). Compared to the early treatment group, the delayed group remained worse for both the pain and the physical disability outcomes over the additional 3 year followup. The difference in the RA global well being score became clinically indistinguishable for the early and delayed groups only after the 2 year post-trial assessment. The between-group differences were not explained by post-trial therapy with corticosteroids, other second-line agents, or nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs and analgesic preparations. These findings show that a delay in instituting therapy with second-line agents, even a 9 month delay in instituting a moderately powerful second-line agent such as HCQ, has significant effects on longterm patient outcome, and provides strong evidence in support of early therapy in RA.The Journal of Rheumatology 03/2000; 27(3):623-9. · 3.26 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Comorbidity is an important confounder in epidemiologic studies. The authors compared the predictive performance of comorbidity scores for use in epidemiologic research with administrative databases. Study participants were British Columbia, Canada, residents aged >or=65 years who received angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or calcium channel blockers at least once during the observation period. Six scores were computed for all 141,161 participants during the baseline year (1995-1996). Endpoints were death and health care utilization during a 12-month follow-up (1996-1997). Performance was measured by using the c statistic ranging from 0.5 for chance prediction of outcome to 1.0 for perfect prediction. In logistic regression models controlling for age and gender, four scores based on the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) generally performed better at predicting 1-year mortality (c = 0.771, c = 0.768, c = 0.745, c = 0.745) than medication-based Chronic Disease Score (CDS)-1 and CDS-2 (c = 0.738, c = 0.718). Number of distinct medications used was the best predictor of future physician visits (R(2) = 0.121) and expenditures (R(2) = 0.128) and a good predictor of mortality (c = 0.745). Combining ICD-9 and medication-based scores improved the c statistics (1.7% and 6.2%, respectively) for predicting mortality. Generalizability of results may be limited to an elderly, predominantly White population with equal access to state-funded health care.American Journal of Epidemiology 11/2001; 154(9):854-64. · 4.78 Impact Factor