Reduced Unplanned Care and Disease Activity and Increased Quality of Life After Patient Enrollment in an Inflammatory Bowel Disease Medical Home

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BACKGROUND & AIMS:Specialty medical homes (SMHs) are a new health care model in which a multidisciplinary team and specialists manage patients with chronic diseases. As part of a large integrated payer–provider network, we formed an inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) SMH and investigated its effects on health care use, disease activity, and quality of life (QoL).METHODS:We performed a retrospective analysis of 322 patients (58% female; mean age, 34.6 y; 62% with Crohn's disease; 32% with prior IBD surgery) enrolled in an IBD SMH, in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health Plan, from June 2015 through July 2016. Patients had at least 1 year of follow up. We evaluated changes in numbers of emergency department visits and hospitalizations from the year before vs after SMH enrollment. Secondary measures included IBD activity assessments and QoL.RESULTS:Compared to the year before IBD SMH enrollment, patients had a 47.3% reduction in emergency department visits (P< .0001) and a 35.9% reduction in hospitalizations (P= .008). In the year following IBD SMH enrollment, patients had significant reductions in the median Harvey–Bradshaw Index score (reduced from 4 to 3.5;P= .002), and median ulcerative colitis activity index score (from 4 to 3;P= .0003), and increases in QoL (median short inflammatory bowel disease questionnaire score increased from 50 to 51.8;P< .0001). Patients in the most extreme (highest and lowest) quartiles had the most improvement when we compared scores at baseline vs after enrollment. Based on multivariable regression analysis, use of corticosteroids (odds ratio [OR], 2.72; 95% CI, 1.32–5.66;P= .007) or opioids (OR, 3.20; 95% CI, 1.32–7.78;P= .01), and low QoL (OR, 4.44; 95% CI, 1.08–18.250;P= .04) at enrollment were significantly associated with persistent emergency department visits and hospitalizations.CONCLUSIONS:We found development of an IBD SMH to be feasible and significantly reduce unplanned care and disease activity and increase patient QoL 1 year after enrollment.

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