Eur J Health Econ. 2022 Jun 18. doi: 10.1007/s10198-022-01486-2. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of a DMP for patients with diabetes mellitus in a Swiss primary care setting.
METHODS: In a prospective observational study, we compared diabetes patients in a DMP (intervention group; N = 538) with diabetes patients receiving usual care (control group; N = 5050) using propensity score matching with entropy balancing. Using a difference-in-difference (DiD) approach, we compared changes in outcomes from baseline (2017) to 1-year (2017/18) and to 2-year follow-up (2017/19). Outcomes included four measures for guideline-adherent diabetes care, hospitalization risk, and health care costs.
RESULTS: We identified a positive impact of the DMP on the share of patients fulfilling all measures for guideline-adherent care [DiD 2017/18: 7.2 percentage-points, p < 0.01; 2017/19: 8.4 percentage-points, p < 0.001]. The hospitalization risk was lower in the intervention group in both years, but only statistically significant in the 1-year follow-up [DiD 2017/18: – 5.7 percentage-points, p < 0.05; 2017/19: – 3.9 percentage points, n.s.]. The increase in health care costs was smaller in the intervention than in the control group [DiD 2017/18: CHF – 852; 2017/19: CHF – 909], but this effect was not statistically significant.
CONCLUSION: The DMP under evaluation seems to exert a positive impact on the quality of diabetes care, reflected in the increase in the measures for guideline-adherent care and in a reduction of the hospitalization risk in the intervention group. It also might reduce health care costs, but only a longer follow-up will show whether the observed effect persists over time.