Chronic disease management items in general practice: a population-based study of variation in claims by claimant characteristics

Med J Aust. 2011 Aug 15;195(4):198-202. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2011.tb03279.x.


Objective: To describe how Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) chronic disease (CD) item claims vary by sociodemographic and health characteristics in people with heart disease, asthma or diabetes.

Design, setting and participants: A cross-sectional analysis of linked unit-level MBS and survey data from the first 102,934 participants enrolled in the 45 and Up Study, a large-scale cohort study in New South Wales, who completed the baseline survey between January 2006 and July 2008.

Main outcome measure: Claim for any general practitioner CD item within 18 months before enrolment, ascertained from MBS records.

Results: The proportion of individuals making claims for MBS CD items was 18.5% for asthma, 22.3% for heart disease, and 44.9% for diabetes. Associations between participant characteristics and a claim for a CD item showed similar patterns across the three diseases. For heart disease and asthma, people most likely to claim a CD item were women, older, of low income and education levels, with multiple chronic conditions, fair or poor self-rated health, obesity and low physical activity levels. The pattern of claims was slightly different for participants with diabetes in that there was no significant association with number of chronic conditions, smoking or physical activity.

Conclusions: Many individuals with self-reported CD do not claim CD items. People with diabetes and individuals with greatest need based on health, socioeconomic and lifestyle risk factors are the most likely to claim CD items.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Female
  • General Practice / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / trends
  • Health Services Research / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Status
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Heart Diseases / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Insurance Claim Review / statistics & numerical data*
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • National Health Programs / statistics & numerical data*
  • New South Wales
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors