Study Shows Medical Homes Reduce Costs for Diabetic Patients

The Journal of Public Health Management and Practice recently published the results of a three-year study (2008-2011) by Independence Blue Cross (IBC) demonstrating reduced medical costs for diabetic patients cared for by patient-centered medical homes.

The study involved nearly 4,000 IBC members: half were treated by physicians in medical home practices and half were treated in practices that were not medical homes. The medical home group patients’ overall medical costs were reduced by 21 percent in the first year, largely driven by a reduction in inpatient costs, which fell by 44 percent.

In subsequent years, medical home patients had 34 percent fewer emergency department visits, 18 percent fewer specialists visits, and outpatient costs dropped by 32 percent.

Richard Snyder, MD, PAMED member and chief medical officer of IBC, said “We’ve found that medical homes are particularly beneficial to diabetics because of added resources such as care managers and dieticians that provide regular outreach, test reminders, and preventive care.”

This is the second paper published by IBC showing the benefits of medical homes for those with chronic conditions.

Additional Resources
PAMED’s Medical Directors Forum recently updated its diabetes care recommendations and mellitus flow sheet, which can help physicians treat diabetic patients and in meeting quality reporting requirements.