Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Vermedx® Diabetes Information System Reduces Healthcare Utilization

The American Journal of Managed Care published our article last week. Unfortunately, their web site got hacked and the PDF is not yet available. However, here is the abstract and main figure to tide you over till the whole opus is downloadable.

The Vermedx® Diabetes Information System Reduces Healthcare Utilization
Benjamin Littenberg, MD; Charles D. MacLean, MDCM; Karl Zygarowski, BS; Barbara H. Drapola, RN, CCM, CPHQ; James A. Duncan, MD; and Clifford R. Frank, MHSA
Am J Manag Care March 2009;15(3)
Objective: To confirm the cost savings in a randomized clinical trial of the Vermedx Diabetes Information System (hereafter referred to as the Diabetes Information System [DIS]) in independently collected data using claims paid by a managed care insurer for patients with and without DIS participation.
Study Design: Longitudinal analysis of paid claims with concurrent and historical controls from October 2002 through October 2007.
Methods: Using locally weighted smoothing functions and linear regression analysis before and after commencement of the DIS, we compared the total claims paid per member per month for 153 patients using the DIS versus 870 control patients.
Results: For DIS patients, paid claims increased at a rate of $8.30 (95% confidence interval [CI], $1.12-$15.48) per month before the DIS started compared with −$3.92 (95% CI, −$9.50 to $1.67) after commencement of the DIS (P = .008). For control patients, the slope changed from $6.80 (95% CI, $3.78-$9.82) to $3.16 (95% CI, −$1.06 to $7.38) (P = .17). After commencement of the DIS, the slope of the claims in the DIS group is significantly lower than that of the control group (−$3.92 vs $3.16, P = .046). The mean estimated savings range from $504 per patient in year 1 of operations to $3563 in year 4. The cumulative net savings reach $8134 in 4 years.
Conclusions: Participation in the DIS is associated with substantial reductions in claims paid, net of the costs of the intervention. The cost savings reported in the randomized clinical trial of the DIS are reproduced in an independent data set.

Figure 1: Claims paid per member per month estimated by non-parametric locally weighted smoothing. The vertical line represents the start date for VDIS patients and a randomly chosen date for control patients.

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