Does Higher Quality of Diabetes Management in Family Practice Reduce Unplanned Hospital Admissions?

National Primary Care Research and Development Centre, Centre for Health Economics, Alcuin A Block, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK.
Health Services Research (Impact Factor: 2.78). 09/2010; 46(1 Pt 1):27-46. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2010.01184.x
Source: PubMed


To investigate the association between indicators of quality of diabetic management in English family practices and emergency hospital admissions for short-term complications of diabetes.
A total of 8,223 English family practices from 2001/2002 to 2006/2007.
Multiple regression analyses of associations between admissions and proportions of practice diabetic patients with good (glycated hemoglobin [HbA1c] ≤7.4 percent) and moderate (7.4 percent <HbA1c ≤10 percent) glycemic control. Covariates included diabetes prevalence, baseline admission rates, socioeconomic, demographic, and geographic characteristics.
Practice quality measures extracted from practice records linked with practice-level hospital admissions data and practice-level covariates data.
Practices with 1 percent more patients with moderate rather than poor glycemic control on average had 1.9 percent (95 percent CI: 1.1-2.6 percent) lower rates of emergency admissions for acute hyperglycemic complications. Having more patients with good rather than moderate control was not associated with lower admissions. There was no association of moderate or good control with hypoglycemic admissions.
Cross-sectionally, family practices with better quality of diabetes care had fewer emergency admissions for short-term complications of diabetes. Over time, after controlling for national trends in admissions, improvements in quality in a family practice were associated with a reduction in its admissions.

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    • "Policies which change behavior within primary care can have wider effects on the larger health care system. For example, the QOF incentivized better management of chronic conditions, and better management has been shown to reduce emergency hospital admissions for diabetes44 and stroke.45 The recent generation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to align primary care doctors and hospitals in the US46 give a good opportunity to explore the impacts of quality incentive schemes within and between health care sectors. "
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    ABSTRACT: Increasingly, financial incentives are being used in health care as a result of increasing demand for health care coupled with fiscal pressures. Financial incentive schemes are one approach by which the system may incentivize providers of health care to improve productivity and/or adapt to better quality provision. Pay for performance (P4P) is an example of a financial incentive which seeks to link providers' payments to some measure of performance. This paper provides a discussion of the theoretical underpinnings of P4P, gives an overview of the health P4P evidence base, and provide a detailed case study of a particularly large scheme from the English National Health Service. Lessons are then drawn from the evidence base. Overall, we find that the evidence for the effectiveness of P4P for improving quality of care in primary care is mixed. This is to some extent due to the fact that the P4P schemes used in primary care are also mixed. There are many different schemes that incentivize different aspects of care in different ways and in different settings, making evaluation problematic. The Quality and Outcomes Framework in the United Kingdom is the largest example of P4P in primary care. Evidence suggests incentivized quality initially improved following the introduction of the Quality and Outcomes Framework, but this was short-lived. If P4P in primary care is to have a long-term future, the question about scheme effectiveness (perhaps incorporating the identification and assessment of potential risk factors) needs to be answered robustly. This would require that new schemes be designed from the onset to support their evaluation: control and treatment groups, coupled with before and after data.
    Risk Management and Healthcare Policy 07/2014; 7. DOI:10.2147/RMHP.S46423
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    • "Diabetes is increasingly followed-up in general practice on the basis of guidelines, and the results of this study may suggest a positive implication of this development [32,33]. Dusheiko et al found that an intensive effort to upskill patients from ‘poor’ to ‘moderate’ diabetic control is linked with a reduction in hospital admissions [34]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The general practitioner (GP) plays an important role for chronic disease care. Continuous and close contact with daytime general practice is intended to prevent medical problems arising outside office hours due to already diagnosed chronic disease. However, previous studies indicate that patients with chronic diseases are frequent users of out-of-hours primary care services (OOH), but knowledge is limited on reasons for encounter (RFE), severity of symptoms, and OOH patient handling. We aimed to describe contacts to the OOH services from patients with chronic heart disease, lung disease, severe psychiatric disorders, diabetes, and cancer in terms of RFE, OOH GP diagnosis, assessed severity of symptoms, and actions taken by the GP. Methods Eligible patients (aged 18 years and older) were randomly sampled from a one-year cross-sectional study comprising 15,229 contacts to the OOH services in the Central Denmark Region. A cohort of patients with one or more of the five selected chronic diseases were identified by linking data on the Danish civil registration number (CPR) through specific nationwide Danish health registers. Results Out of 13,930 identified unique patients, 4,912 had at least one of the five chronic diseases. In total, 25.9% of all calls to the OOH services came from this chronic disease patient group due to an acute exacerbation; 32.6% of these calls came from patients with psychiatric diagnoses. Patients with chronic disease were more likely to receive a face-to-face contact than the remaining group of patients, except for calls from patients with a psychiatric disorder who were more often completed through a telephone consultation. Patients with heart disease calling due to a new health problem formed the largest proportion of all OOH referrals to hospital (13.3%) compared to calls from the other groups with chronic disease (3.4-6.7%). Conclusions A third of the patients randomly sampled by their OOH call had one or more of the five selected chronic diseases (i.e. chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, psychiatric disease, or cancer). Patients with chronic disease were more often managed by OOH GPs than other patients.
    BMC Family Practice 06/2014; 15(1):114. DOI:10.1186/1471-2296-15-114 · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    • "The category of diabetes-related ACSC differed among studies (Table 2), ranging from all diabetes-related ACSC, [18,20,22,41] to chronic ACSC [42-44] and only emergency [17,19] or acute or non-elective [18] hospitalisations related to diabetes. Lin and colleagues [21] analysed hospitalisations for short-term and long-term diabetes-related ACSC separately. "
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    ABSTRACT: Primary health care is recognised as an integral part of a country's health care system. Measuring hospitalisations, that could potentially be avoided with high quality and accessible primary care, is one indicator of how well primary care services are performing. This review was interested in the association between chronic disease related hospitalisations and primary health care resourcing. Studies were included if peer reviewed, written in English, published between 2002 and 2012, modelled hospitalisation as a function of PHC resourcing and identified hospitalisations for type 2 diabetes as a study outcome measure. Access and use of PHC services were used as a proxy for PHC resourcing. Studies in populations with a predominant user pay system were excluded to eliminate patient financial barriers to PHC access and utilisation. Articles were systematically excluded based on the inclusion criteria, to arrive at the final set of studies for review. The search strategy identified 1778 potential articles using EconLit, Medline and Google Scholar databases. Ten articles met the inclusion criteria and were subject to review. PHC resources were quantified by workforce (either medical or nursing) numbers, number of primary care episodes, service availability (e.g. operating hours), primary care practice size (e.g. single or group practitioner practice---a larger practice has more care disciplines onsite), or financial incentive to improve quality of diabetes care. The association between medical workforce numbers and ACSC hospitalisations was mixed. Four of six studies found that less patients per doctor was significantly associated with a decrease in ambulatory care sensitive hospitalisations, one study found the opposite and one study did not find a significant association between the two. When results were categorised by PHC access (e.g. GPs/capita, range of services) and use (e.g. n out-patient visits), better access to quality PHC resulted in fewer ACSC hospitalisations. This finding remained when only studies that adjusted for health status were categorised. Financial incentives to improve the quality of diabetes care were associated with less ACSC hospitalisations, reported in 1 study. Seven of 12 measures of the relationship between PHC resourcing and ACSC hospitalisations had a significant inverse association. As a collective body of evidence the studies provide inconclusive support that more PHC resourcing is associated with reduced hospitalisation for ACSC. Characteristics of improved or increased PHC access showed inverse significant associations with fewer ACSC hospitalisations after adjustment for health status. The varied measures of hospitalisation, PHC resourcing, and health status may contribute to inconsistent findings among studies and make it difficult to interpret findings.
    BMC Health Services Research 08/2013; 13(1):336. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-13-336 · 1.71 Impact Factor
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