To determine whether the financial incentives for tight glycaemic control, introduced in the UK as part of a pay-for-performance scheme in 2004, increased the rate at which people with newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes were started on anti-diabetic medication.Methods
A secondary analysis of data from the General Practice Research Database for the years 1999–2008 was performed using an interrupted time series analysis of the treatment patterns for people newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (n = 21 197).Results
Overall, the proportion of people with newly diagnosed diabetes managed without medication 12 months after diagnosis was 47% and after 24 months it was 40%. The annual rate of initiation of pharmacological treatment within 12 months of diagnosis was decreasing before the introduction of the pay-for-performance scheme by 1.2% per year (95% CI −2.0, −0.5%) and increased after the introduction of the scheme by 1.9% per year (95% CI 1.1, 2.7%). The equivalent figures for treatment within 24 months of diagnosis were −1.4% (95% CI −2.1, −0.8%) before the scheme was introduced and 1.6% (95% CI 0.8, 2.3%) after the scheme was introduced.Conclusion
The present study suggests that the introduction of financial incentives in 2004 has effected a change in the management of people newly diagnosed with diabetes. We conclude that a greater proportion of people with newly diagnosed diabetes are being initiated on medication within 1 and 2 years of diagnosis as a result of the introduction of financial incentives for tight glycaemic control.