Managed Care Organization and the Quality of Diabetes Care: The Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD) study

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To examine the association between the organizational model and diabetes processes of care.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS

We used data from the Translating Research into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD), a multicenter study of diabetes care in managed care, including 8,354 patients with diabetes. We identified five model types: for-profit group/network, for-profit independent practice association (IPA), nonprofit group/network, nonprofit IPA, and nonprofit group/staff. Process measures included retinal, renal, foot, lipid, and HbA1c testing; aspirin recommendations; influenza vaccination; and a sum of these seven processes of care over 1 year. Hierarchical regression models were constructed for each process measure and accounted for clustering at the health plan and provider group levels and adjusted for participant age, sex, race, ethnicity, diabetes treatment and duration, education, income, health status, and survey language.

RESULTS

Participant membership in the model types ranged from 9% in nonprofit IPA models to 38% in nonprofit group/staff models. Over 75% of participants received most of the processes of care, regardless of model type. However, among for-profit plans, group/network models provided on average more processes of care than IPA models (5.5 vs. 4.7, P < 0.0001), and group/network models generally increased the probability of receiving a process by ≥ 10 percentage points. Among nonprofit plans, no effect of model type was found.

CONCLUSIONS

Among for-profit plans, group/network models provided better diabetes processes of care than IPA models. Although reasons are speculative, this may be due to the clinical infrastructure available in group models that is not available in IPA models.

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