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||The implementation of managed care for diabetes using medical informatics in a large Preferred Provider Organization.
||Heymann AD, Chodick G, Halkin H, Karasik A, Shalev V, Shemer J, Kokia E
||Diabetes Res Clin Pract
||BACKGROUND: It has been demonstrated by meta analysis that if a regular review of patients is guaranteed, the standard of primary care can be as good or better than hospital outpatient care, however, empirical data suggests that compliance with diabetes clinical practice recommendations is inadequate in primary care. This study describes the reorganization of diabetes care using disease management principles in a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) operating on a country-wide basis in which each diabetes clinic became responsible for the overall care of all patients with diabetes. METHODS: This descriptive pre and post change study was undertaken in a large public-funded PPO insuring over one and half million individuals. The study was possible due the use of a centralized electronic disease registry which enabled the collection of all patient data. Several markers, such as HbA1C and LDC-cholesterol levels, were used to assess the quality of care for the diabetic patients. RESULTS: Mean HbA1C results of the cohort showed a continuous reduction from 8.1% (S.D. = 1.55) in 1999 to 7.68% (S.D. = 1.47) in 2002 and to 7.79 (S.D. = 1.54) in 2004. Improved results were also recorded for LDL-C 126.37 (S.D. = 35.16) in 1999 to 114.74 (S.D. = 34.49) in 2002, and to 113.39 (S.D. = 33.8) in 2004. The number of diabetic patients seen by the diabetologist increased by 62% over this period, despite an increase in diabetologist work hours of only 23%. CONCLUSION: The reorganization of health delivery for diabetic patients within a country-wide PPO, based on the principles of disease management and supported by medical informatics improves quality of care.