[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine whether elective use of a health plan-sponsored health club membership had an impact on health care use and costs among older adults with diabetes.
Administrative claims for 2,031 older adults with diabetes enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan were obtained for this retrospective cohort study. Participants (n = 618) in the plan-sponsored health club benefit (Silver Sneakers [SS]) and control subjects (n = 1,413) matched on SS enrollment index date were enrolled in the plan for at least 1 year before the index date. Two-year health care use and costs of SS participants and control subjects were estimated in regressions adjusting for baseline differences.
SS participants were more likely to be male, had a lower chronic disease burden, used more preventive services, and had a lower prevalence of arthritis (P <or= 05). SS participants had lower adjusted total health care costs than control subjects in the first year after enrollment (-$1,633 [95% CI -$2,620 to -$646], P = 0.001), and adjusted total costs in year 2 trended lower (-$1,230 [-$2,494 to $33], P = 0.06). Participants who made on average >or=2 SS visits/week in year 1 had lower total costs in year 2 ($2,141 [-$3,877 to -$405], P = 0.02) than participants who made <2 visits/week.
Use of a health club benefit by older adults with diabetes was associated with slower growth in total health care costs over 2 years; greater use of the benefit was actually associated with declines in total costs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this article was to determine the effects of a managed-Medicare physical activity benefit on health care utilization and costs among older adults with diabetes.
This retrospective cohort study used administrative and claims data for 527 patients from a diabetes registry of a staff model HMO. Participants (n = 163) were enrolled in the HMO for at least 1 year before joining the Enhanced Fitness Program (EFP), a community-based physical activity program for which the HMO pays for each EFP class attended. Control subjects were matched to participants according to the index date of EFP enrollment (n = 364). Multivariate regression models were used to determine 12-month postindex differences in health care use and costs between participants and control subjects while adjusting for age, sex, chronic disease burden, EFP attendance, prevention score, heart registry, and respective baseline use and costs.
Participants and control subjects were similar at baseline with respect to age (75 +/- 5.5 years), A1C levels (7.4 +/- 1.4%), chronic disease burden, prevention score, and health care use and costs. After exposure to the program, there was a trend toward lower hospital admissions in EFP participants compared with control subjects (13.5 vs. 20.9%, P = 0.08), whereas total health care costs were not different (P = 0.39). EFP participants who attended > or = 1 exercise session/week on average had approximately 41% less total health care costs compared with those attending <1 session/week (P = 0.03) and with control subjects (P = 0.02).
Although elective participation in a community-based physical activity benefit at any level was not associated with lower inpatient or total health care costs, greater participation in the program may lower health care costs. These findings warrant additional investigations to determine whether policies to offer and promote a community-based physical activity benefit in older adults with diabetes can reduce health care costs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the effect of distance on the likelihood of initiating and maintaining regular use of a fitness-program benefit in a population of managed Medicare seniors. We studied 8,162 participants and nonparticipants in a managed-care fitness-program benefit: a structured group exercise program or an unstructured health-club membership. Participants in both programs lived significantly closer to facilities than nonparticipants did (structured, p < .001; unstructured, p = .017). Participants living closer to unstructured-program sites attended more frequently than those farther away (p = .008). Distance was not correlated with frequency of use in the structured program (p = .49). Collectively, these analyses demonstrate that distance is related to uptake and, in some cases, continued use of a fitness-program benefit. Health systems providing fitness-program benefits as a way to increase physical activity levels of their plan members should consider location of program facilities in relation to members' home addresses to maximize use of the benefit.
No preview · Article · Aug 2006 · Journal of aging and physical activity