Backgrounds and aims: To compare direct costs of four different care models and health outcomes in adults with type 2 diabetes.
Methods and results: We used multiple independent data sources to identify 25,570 adults with type 2 diabetes residing in Turin, Italy, as of 1 July 2003. Data extracted from administrative data databases were used to create four care models ranging in organization from highly structured care (integrated primary and specialist care) to progressively less structured care (unstructured care). Regression analyses, adjusted for main confounders, were applied to examine the differences between the models in direct costs, mortality, and diabetes-related hospitalizations rates over a 4-year period. In patients managed according to the unstructured care model (i.e., usual care by a primary care provider and without strict guidelines adherence), excess of all-cause mortality was 84% and 4-year direct cost was 8% higher than in those managed according to the highly structured care model. Cost ratio analysis revealed that the major cost driver in the unstructured care model was hospital admissions, which were 31% higher than the rate calculated for the more structured care models. In contrast, spending on prescription medications and specialist consultations was higher in the highly structured care model.
Conclusion: A diabetes care model that integrates primary and specialty care, together with practices that adhere to guideline recommendations, was associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality and hospitalizations, as compared with less structured models, without increasing direct health costs.
Keywords: Care models; Cost effectiveness; Costs; Type 2 diabetes.
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