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Can the use of Electronic Health Records in General Practice reduce hospitalizations for diabetes patients? Evidence from a natural experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Kongstad, L.P.
  • Mellace, G.
  • Olsen, K.R.

Abstract

Disease management programmes (DMP) in the general practice sector are increasingly used to improve health of chronically ill patients, reduce hospitalizations and thereby costs. The aim of this paper is to estimate the causal effects of the enrolment of general practices (GP) in a DMP based on Electronic Health Records (EHR) on diabetes patients total hospitalizations, diabetes related hospitalizations and hospitalizations with diabetes and cardiovascular related Ambulatory Care Sentive Conditions (ACSC). We use a rich nationwide panel dataset (2004-2013) with information of stepwise enrolment of GPs in the EHR program. As a control group we use GPs who never enrolled. Following the recent literature on causal inference with panel data, we use a standard propensity score matching estimator where we also match on pre-treatment outcomes. This allows controlling for all the unobservable confounders which were already present in the pre-treatment outcomes. Alternative, we use a difference in difference as well as a parametric model with a continuous treatment specification and find similar results. Our results show that enrolment in EHR reduced diabetes patients’ risk of hospitalizations by more than 10%. The results are comparable with studies on EHR programs from California and the magnitudes of the effects are comparable to DMPs including both EHR and financial incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Kongstad, L.P. & Mellace, G. & Olsen, K.R., 2016. "Can the use of Electronic Health Records in General Practice reduce hospitalizations for diabetes patients? Evidence from a natural experiment," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 16/25, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:16/25
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dusheiko, Mark & Gravelle, Hugh & Martin, Stephen & Rice, Nigel & Smith, Peter C., 2011. "Does better disease management in primary care reduce hospital costs? Evidence from English primary care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 919-932.
    2. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
    3. Martin Huber & Michael Lechner & Andreas Steinmayr, 2015. "Radius matching on the propensity score with bias adjustment: tuning parameters and finite sample behaviour," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 1-31, August.
    4. Iezzi, Elisa & Lippi Bruni, Matteo & Ugolini, Cristina, 2014. "The role of GP's compensation schemes in diabetes care: Evidence from panel data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 104-120.
    5. Jonathan T. Kolstad, 2013. "Information and Quality When Motivation Is Intrinsic: Evidence from Surgeon Report Cards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2875-2910, December.
    6. Jonathan T. Kolstad, 2013. "Information and Quality when Motivation is Intrinsic: Evidence from Surgeon Report Cards," NBER Working Papers 18804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Lechner, Michael, 2013. "Treatment effects and panel data," Economics Working Paper Series 1314, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    8. Eijkenaar, Frank & Emmert, Martin & Scheppach, Manfred & Schöffski, Oliver, 2013. "Effects of pay for performance in health care: A systematic review of systematic reviews," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 115-130.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Disease management; General Practice; Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions (ACSC); propensity score matching;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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