Data Collection/Extraction Methods (data + collection_methods)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Show Us the Money: Lessons in Transparency from State Pharmaceutical Marketing Disclosure Laws

Susan Chimonas
Objective. To assess legislation requiring drug companies to report gifts to providers, and to evaluate the information obtained. Data Sources. Data included legislation in Vermont, Minnesota, Maine, Massachusetts, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia, and company disclosure data from Vermont. Study Design. We evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of state legislation. We also analyzed 4 years of company disclosures from Vermont, assessing the value and distribution of industry,provider exchanges and identifying emerging trends in companies' practices. Data Collection Methods. State legislation is publically available. We obtained Vermont's data through requests to the state's Attorney General's office. Principal Findings. Of the state laws, only Vermont's yielded robust, publically available data. These data show gifting was dominated by a few major corporations, and <2 percent of Vermont's prescribers received 69 percent of gifts and payments. Companies were especially generous to specialists in psychiatry, endocrinology/diabetes/metabolism, internal medicine, and neurology. Companies increasingly used loopholes in the law to avoid public scrutiny. Conclusions. Disclosure laws are an important first step in bringing greater transparency to physician,industry relationships. But flaws and weaknesses limit the states' ability to render physician,industry exchanges fully transparent. Future efforts should build on these lessons to render physician,industry relationships fully transparent. [source]

A Self-Report Measure of Clinicians' Orientation toward Integrative Medicine

An-Fu Hsiao
Objective. Patients in the U.S. often turn to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and may use it concurrently with conventional medicine to treat illness and promote wellness. However, clinicians vary in their openness to the merging of treatment paradigms. Because integration of CAM with conventional medicine can have important implications for health care, we developed a survey instrument to assess clinicians' orientation toward integrative medicine. Study Setting. A convenience sample of 294 acupuncturists, chiropractors, primary care physicians, and physician acupuncturists in academic and community settings in California. Data Collection Methods. We used a qualitative analysis of structured interviews to develop a conceptual model of integrative medicine at the provider level. Based on this conceptual model, we developed a 30-item survey (IM-30) to assess five domains of clinicians' orientation toward integrative medicine: openness, readiness to refer, learning from alternate paradigms, patient-centered care, and safety of integration. Principal Findings. Two hundred and two clinicians (69 percent response rate) returned the survey. The internal consistency reliability for the 30-item total scale and the five subscales ranged from 0.71 to 0.90. Item-scale correlations for the five subscales were higher for the hypothesized subscale than other subscales 75 percent or more of the time. Construct validity was supported by the association of the IM-30 total scale score (0,100 possible range, with a higher score indicative of greater orientation toward integrative medicine) with hypothesized constructs: physician acupuncturists scored higher than physicians (71 versus 50, p<.001), dual-trained practitioners scored higher than single-trained practitioners (71 versus 62, p<.001), and practitioners' self-perceived "integrativeness" was significantly correlated (r=0.60, p<.001) with the IM-30 total score. Conclusion. This study provides support for the reliability and validity of the IM-30 as a measure of clinicians' orientation toward integrative medicine. The IM-30 survey, which we estimate as requiring 5 minutes to complete, can be administered to both conventional and CAM clinicians. [source]

The Effects of Geography and Spatial Behavior on Health Care Utilization among the Residents of a Rural Region

Thomas A. Arcury
Objective. This analysis determines the importance of geography and spatial behavior as predisposing and enabling factors in rural health care utilization, controlling for demographic, social, cultural, and health status factors. Data Sources. A survey of 1,059 adults in 12 rural Appalachian North Carolina counties. Study Design. This cross-sectional study used a three-stage sampling design stratified by county and ethnicity. Preliminary analysis of health services utilization compared weighted proportions of number of health care visits in the previous 12 months for regular check-up care, chronic care, and acute care across geographic, sociodemographic, cultural, and health variables. Multivariable logistic models identified independent correlates of health services utilization. Data Collection Methods. Respondents answered standard survey questions. They located places in which they engaged health related and normal day-to-day activities; these data were entered into a geographic information system for analysis. Principal Findings. Several geographic and spatial behavior factors, including having a driver's license, use of provided rides, and distance for regular care, were significantly related to health care utilization for regular check-up and chronic care in the bivariate analysis. In the multivariate model, having a driver's license and distance for regular care remained significant, as did several predisposing (age, gender, ethnicity), enabling (household income), and need (physical and mental health measures, number of conditions). Geographic measures, as predisposing and enabling factors, were related to regular check-up and chronic care, but not to acute care visits. Conclusions. These results show the importance of geographic and spatial behavior factors in rural health care utilization. They also indicate continuing inequity in rural health care utilization that must be addressed in public policy. [source]

Determinants of HMO Formulary Adoption Decisions

David Dranove
Objective. To identify economic and organizational characteristics that affect the likelihood that health maintenance organizations (HMOs) include new drugs on their formularies. Data Sources. We administered an original survey to directors of pharmacy at 75 HMOs, of which 41 returned usable responses. We obtained drug-specific data from an industry trade journal. Study Design. We performed multivariate logistic regression analysis, adjusting for fixed-drug effects and random-HMO effects. We used factor analysis to limit the number of predictors. Data Collection Methods. We held initial focus groups to help with survey design. We administered the survey in two waves. We asked respondents to report on seven popular new drugs, and to describe a variety of HMO organizational characteristics. Principal Findings. Several HMO organizational characteristics, including nonprofit status, the incentives facing the director of the pharmacy, size and make-up of the pharmacy and therapeutics committee, and relationships with drugs makers, all affect formulary adoption. Conclusions. There are many organizational factors that may cause HMOs to make different formulary adoption decisions for certain prescription drugs. [source]

Managed Behavioral Health Care: An Instrument to Characterize Critical Elements of Public Sector Programs

M. Susan Ridgely
Objective. To develop an instrument to characterize public sector managed behavioral health care arrangements to capture key differences between managed and ,unmanaged" care and among managed care arrangements. Study Design. The instrument was developed by a multi-institutional group of collaborators with participation of an expert panel. Included are six domains predicted to have an impact on access, service utilization, costs, and quality. The domains are: characteristics of the managed care plan, enrolled population, benefit design, payment and risk arrangements, composition of provider networks, and accountability. Data are collected at three levels: managed care organization, subcontractor, and network of service providers. Data Collection Methods. Data are collected through contract abstraction and key informant interviews. A multilevel coding scheme is used to organize the data into a matrix along key domains, which is then reviewed and verified by the key informants. Principal Findings This instrument can usefully differentiate between and among Medicaid fee-for-service programs and Medicaid managed care plans along key domains of interest. Beyond documenting basic features of the plans and providing contextual information, these data will support the refinement and testing of hypotheses about the impact of public sector managed care on access, quality, costs, and outcomes of care. Conclusions. If managed behavioral health care research is to advance beyond simple case study comparisons, a well-conceptualized set of instruments is necessary. [source]

Do Medicaid Wage Pass-through Payments Increase Nursing Home Staffing?

Zhanlian Feng
Objective. To assess the impact of state Medicaid wage pass-through policy on direct-care staffing levels in U.S. nursing homes. Data Sources. Online Survey Certification and Reporting (OSCAR) data, and state Medicaid nursing home reimbursement policies over the period 1996,2004. Study Design. A fixed-effects panel model with two-step feasible-generalized least squares estimates is used to examine the effect of pass-through adoption on direct-care staff hours per resident day (HPRD) in nursing homes. Data Collection/Extraction Methods. A panel data file tracking annual OSCAR surveys per facility over the study period is linked with annual information on state Medicaid wage pass-through and related policies. Principal Findings. Among the states introducing wage pass-through over the study period, the policy is associated with between 3.0 and 4.0 percent net increases in certified nurse aide (CNA) HPRD in the years following adoption. No discernable pass-through effect is observed on either registered nurse or licensed practical nurse HPRD. Conclusions. State Medicaid wage pass-through programs offer a potentially effective policy tool to boost direct-care CNA staffing in nursing homes, at least in the short term. [source]

SCHIP's Impact on Dependent Coverage in the Small-Group Health Insurance Market

Eric E. Seiber
Objective. To estimate the impact of State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) expansions on public and private coverage of dependents at small firms compared with large firms. Data Sources. 1996,2007 Annual Demographic Survey of the Current Population Survey (CPS). Study Design. This study estimates a two-stage least squares (2SLS) model for four insurance outcomes that instruments for SCHIP and Medicaid eligibility. Separate models are estimated for small group markets (firms with fewer than 25 employees), small businesses (firms under 500 employees), and large firms (firms 500 employees and above). Data Collection/Extraction Methods. We extracted data from the 1996,2007 CPS for children in households with at least one worker. Principal Findings. The SCHIP expansions decreased the percentage of uninsured dependents in the small group market by 7.6 percentage points with negligible crowd-out in the small group and no significant effect on private coverage across the 11-year-period. Conclusions. The SCHIP expansions have increased coverage for households in the small group market with no significant crowd-out of private coverage. In contrast, the estimates for large firms are consistent with the substantial crowd-out observed in the literature. [source]

Effect of Evidence-Based Acute Pain Management Practices on Inpatient Costs

John M. Brooks
Objectives. To estimate hospital cost changes associated with a behavioral intervention designed to increase the use of evidence-based acute pain management practices in an inpatient setting and to estimate the direct effect that changes in evidence-based acute pain management practices have on inpatient cost. Data Sources/Study Setting. Data from a randomized "translating research into practice" (TRIP) behavioral intervention designed to increase the use of evidence-based acute pain management practices for patients hospitalized with hip fractures. Study Design. Experimental design and observational "as-treated" and instrumental variable (IV) methods. Data Collection/Extraction Methods. Abstraction from medical records and Uniform Billing 1992 (UB92) discharge abstracts. Principal Findings. The TRIP intervention cost on average $17,714 to implement within a hospital but led to cost savings per inpatient stay of more than $1,500. The intervention increased the cost of nursing services, special operating rooms, and therapy services per inpatient stay, but these costs were more than offset by cost reductions within other cost categories. "As-treated" estimates of the effect of changes in evidence-based acute pain management practices on inpatient cost appear significantly underestimated, whereas IV estimates are statistically significant and are distinct from, but consistent with, estimates associated with the intervention. Conclusions. A hospital treating more that 12 patients with acute hip fractures can expect to lower overall cost by implementing the TRIP intervention. We also demonstrated the advantages of using IV methods over "as-treated" methods to assess the direct effect of practice changes on cost. [source]

Language and Regional Differences in Evaluations of Medicare Managed Care by Hispanics

Robert Weech-Maldonado
Objectives. This study uses the Consumer Assessments of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) survey to examine the experiences of Hispanics enrolled in Medicare managed care. Evaluations of care are examined in relationship to primary language (English or Spanish) and region of the country. Data Sources. CAHPS 3.0 Medicare managed care survey data collected in 2002. Study Design. The dependent variables consist of five CAHPS multi-item scales measuring timeliness of care, provider communication, office staff helpfulness, getting needed care, and health plan customer service. The main independent variables are Hispanic primary language (English or Spanish) and region (California, Florida, New York/New Jersey, and other states). Ordinary least squares regression is used to model the effect of Hispanic primary language and region on CAHPS scales, controlling for age, gender, education, and self-rated health. Data Collection/Extraction Methods. The analytic sample consists of 125,369 respondents (82 percent response rate) enrolled in 181 Medicare managed care plans across the U.S. Of the 125,369 respondents, 8,463 (7 percent) were self-identified as Hispanic. The survey was made available in English and Spanish, and 1,353 Hispanics completed one in Spanish. Principal Findings. Hispanic English speakers had less favorable reports of care than whites for all dimensions of care except provider communication. Hispanic Spanish speakers reported more negative experiences than whites with timeliness of care, provider communication, and office staff helpfulness, but better reports of care for getting needed care. Spanish speakers in all regions except Florida had less favorable scores than English-speaking Hispanics for provider communication and office staff helpfulness, but more positive assessments for getting needed care. There were greater regional variations in CAHPS scores among Hispanic Spanish speakers than among Hispanic English speakers. Spanish speakers in Florida had more positive experiences than Spanish speakers in other regions for most dimensions of care. Conclusions. Hispanics in Medicare managed care face barriers to care; however, their experiences with care vary by language and region. Spanish speakers (except FL) have less favorable experiences with provider communication and office staff helpfulness than their English-speaking counterparts, suggesting language barriers in the clinical encounter. On the other hand, Spanish speakers reported more favorable experiences than their English-speaking counterparts with the managed care aspects of their care (getting needed care and plan customer service). Medicare managed care plans need to address the observed disparities in patient experiences among Hispanics as part of their quality improvement efforts. Plans can work with their network providers to address issues related to timeliness of care and office staff helpfulness. In addition, plans can provide incentives for language services, which have the potential to improve communication with providers and staff among Spanish speakers. Finally, health plans can reduce the access barriers faced by Hispanics, especially among English speakers. [source]

The Effect of Three-Tier Formulary Adoption on Medication Continuation and Spending among Elderly Retirees

Haiden A. Huskamp
Objective. To assess the effect of three-tier formulary adoption on medication continuation and spending among elderly members of retiree health plans. Data Sources. Pharmacy claims and enrollment data on elderly members of four retiree plans that adopted a three-tier formulary over the period July 1999 through December 2002 and two comparison plans that maintained a two-tier formulary during this period. Study Design. We used a quasi-experimental design to compare the experience of enrollees in intervention and comparison plans. We used propensity score methods to match intervention and comparison users of each drug class and plan. We estimated repeated measures regression models for each class/plan combination for medication continuation and monthly plan, enrollee, and total spending. We estimated logit models of the probability of nonpersistent use, medication discontinuation, and medication changes. Data Collection/Extraction Methods. We used pharmacy claims to create person-level drug utilization and spending files for the year before and year after three-tier adoption. Principal Findings. Three-tier formulary adoption resulted in shifting of costs from plan to enrollee, with relatively small effects on medication continuation. Although implementation had little effect on continuation on average, a small minority of patients were more likely to have gaps in use and discontinue use relative to comparison patients. Conclusions. Moderate cost sharing increases from three-tier formulary adoption had little effect on medication continuation among elderly enrolled in retiree health plans with relatively generous drug coverage. [source]

The Adequacy of Household Survey Data for Evaluating the Nongroup Health Insurance Market

Joel C. Cantor
Objective. To evaluate the accuracy of household survey estimates of the size and composition of the nonelderly population covered by nongroup health insurance. Data Sources/Study Setting. Health insurance enrollment statistics reported to New Jersey insurance regulators. Household data from the following sources: the 2002 Current Population Survey (CPS)-March Demographic Supplement, the 1997 and 1999 National Surveys of America's Families (NSAF), the 2001 New Jersey Family Health Survey (NJFHS), a 2002 survey of known nongroup health insurance enrollees, a small 2004 survey testing alternative health insurance question wording. Study Design. To assess the extent of bias in estimates of the size of the nongroup health insurance market in New Jersey, enrollment trends are compared between official enrollment statistics reported by insurance carriers to state insurance regulators with estimates from three general population household surveys. Next, to evaluate possible bias in the demographic and socioeconomic composition of the New Jersey nongroup market, distributions of characteristics of the enrolled population are contrasted among general household surveys and a survey of known nongroup subscribers. Finally, based on inferences drawn from these comparisons, alternative health insurance question wording was developed and tested in a local survey to test the potential for misreporting enrollment in nongroup coverage in a low-income population. Data Collection/Extraction Methods. Data for nonelderly New Jersey residents from the 2002 CPS (n=5,028) and the 1997 and 1999 NSAF (n=6,467 and 7,272, respectively) were obtained from public sources. The 2001 NJFHS (n=5,580 nonelderly) was conducted for a sample drawn by random digit dialing and employed computer-assisted telephone interviews and trained, professional interviewers. Sampling weights are used to adjust for under-coverage of households without telephones and other factors. In addition, a modified version of the NJFHS was administered to a 2002 sample of known nongroup subscribers (n=1,398) using the same field methods. These lists were provided by four of the five largest New Jersey nongroup insurance carriers, which represented 95 percent of all nongroup enrollees in the state. Finally, a modified version of the NJFHS questionnaire was fielded using similar methods as part of a local health survey in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 2004 (n=1,460 nonelderly). Principal Findings. General household sample surveys, including the widely used CPS, yield substantially higher estimates of nongroup enrollment compared with administrative totals and yield estimates of the characteristics of the nongroup population that vary greatly from a survey of known nongroup subscribers. A small survey testing a question about source of payment for direct-purchased coverage suggests than many public coverage enrollees report nongroup coverage. Conclusions. Nongroup health insurance has been subject to more than a decade of reform and is of continuing policy interest. Comparisons of unique data from a survey of known nongroup subscribers and administrative sources to household surveys strongly suggest that the latter overstates the number and misrepresent the composition of the nongroup population. Research on the nongroup market using available sources should be interpreted cautiously and survey methods should be reexamined. [source]

Development of an Algorithm to Identify Pregnancy Episodes in an Integrated Health Care Delivery System

Mark C. Hornbrook
Objective. To develop and validate a software algorithm to detect pregnancy episodes and maternal morbidities using automated data. Data Sources/Study Setting. Automated records from a large integrated health care delivery system (IHDS), 1998,2001. Study Design. Through complex linkages of multiple automated information sources, the algorithm estimated pregnancy histories. We evaluated the algorithm's accuracy by comparing selected elements of the pregnancy history obtained by the algorithm with the same elements manually abstracted from medical records by trained research staff. Data Collection/Extraction Methods. The algorithm searched for potential pregnancy indicators within diagnosis and procedure codes, as well as laboratory tests, pharmacy dispensings, and imaging procedures associated with pregnancy. Principal Findings. Among 32,847 women with potential pregnancy indicators, we identified 24,680 pregnancies occuring to 21,001 women. Percent agreement between the algorithm and medical records review on pregnancy outcome, gestational age, and pregnancy outcome date ranged from 91 percent to 98 percent. The validation results were used to refine the algorithm. Conclusions. This pregnancy episode grouper algorithm takes advantage of databases readily available in IHDS, and has important applications for health system management and clinical care. It can be used in other settings for ongoing surveillance and research on pregnancy outcomes, pregnancy-related morbidities, costs, and care patterns. [source]

Comparing United States versus International Medical School Graduate Physicians Who Serve African- American and White Elderly

Daniel L. Howard
Objective. To examine the relationship that international medical school graduates (IMGs) in comparison with United States medical school graduates (USMGs) have on health care-seeking behavior and satisfaction with medical care among African-American and white elderly. Data Sources. Secondary data analysis of the 1986,1998 Piedmont Health Survey of the Elderly, Established Populations for the Epidemiological Study of the Elderly, a racially oversampled urban and rural cohort of elders in five North Carolina counties. Study Design. Primary focus of analyses examined the impact of the combination of elder race and physician graduate status across time using a linear model for repeated measures analyses and ,2 tests. Separate analyses using generalized estimating equations were conducted for each measure of elder characteristic and health behavior. The analytic cohort included 341 physicians and 3,250 elders (65 years old and older) in 1986; by 1998, 211 physicians and 1,222 elders. Data Collection/Extraction Methods. Trained personnel collected baseline measures on 4,162 elders (about 80 percent responses) through 90-minute in-home interviews. Principal Findings. Over time, IMGs treated more African-American elders, and those who had less education, lower incomes, less insurance, were in poorer health, and who lived in rural areas. White elders with IMGs delayed care more than those with USMGs. Both races indicated being unsure about where to go for medical care. White elders with IMGs were less satisfied than those with USMGs. Both races had perceptions of IMGs that relate to issues of communication, cultural competency, ageism, and unnecessary expenses. Conclusion. IMGs do provide necessary and needed access to medical care for underserved African Americans and rural populations. However, it is unclear whether concerns regarding cultural competency, communication and the quality of care undermine the contribution IMGs make to these populations. [source]

The Effect of State Medicaid Case-Mix Payment on Nursing Home Resident Acuity

Zhanlian Feng
Objective. To examine the relationship between Medicaid case-mix payment and nursing home resident acuity. Data Sources. Longitudinal Minimum Data Set (MDS) resident assessments from 1999 to 2002 and Online Survey Certification and Reporting (OSCAR) data from 1996 to 2002, for all freestanding nursing homes in the 48 contiguous U.S. states. Study Design. We used a facility fixed-effects model to examine the effect of introducing state case-mix payment on changes in nursing home case-mix acuity. Facility acuity was measured by aggregating the nursing case-mix index (NCMI) from the MDS using the Resource Utilization Group (Version III) resident classification system, separately for new admits and long-stay residents, and by an OSCAR-derived index combining a range of activity of daily living dependencies and special treatment measures. Data Collection/Extraction Methods. We followed facilities over the study period to create a longitudinal data file based on the MDS and OSCAR, respectively, and linked facilities with longitudinal data on state case-mix payment policies for the same period. Principal Findings. Across three acuity measures and two data sources, we found that states shifting to case-mix payment increased nursing home acuity levels over the study period. Specifically, we observed a 2.5 percent increase in the average acuity of new admits and a 1.3 to 1.4 percent increase in the acuity of long-stay residents, following the introduction of case-mix payment. Conclusions. The adoption of case-mix payment increased access to care for higher acuity Medicaid residents. [source]

Application of Regression-Discontinuity Analysis in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research

Ilene H. Zuckerman
Objective. To demonstrate how a relatively underused design, regression-discontinuity (RD), can provide robust estimates of intervention effects when stronger designs are impossible to implement. Data Sources/Study Setting. Administrative claims from a Mid-Atlantic state Medicaid program were used to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational drug utilization review intervention. Study Design. Quasi-experimental design. Data Collection/Extraction Methods. A drug utilization review study was conducted to evaluate a letter intervention to physicians treating Medicaid children with potentially excessive use of short-acting ,2 -agonist inhalers (SAB). The outcome measure is change in seasonally-adjusted SAB use 5 months pre- and postintervention. To determine if the intervention reduced monthly SAB utilization, results from an RD analysis are compared to findings from a pretest,posttest design using repeated-measure ANOVA. Principal Findings. Both analyses indicated that the intervention significantly reduced SAB use among the high users. Average monthly SAB use declined by 0.9 canisters per month (p<.001) according to the repeated-measure ANOVA and by 0.2 canisters per month (p<.001) from RD analysis. Conclusions. Regression-discontinuity design is a useful quasi-experimental methodology that has significant advantages in internal validity compared to other pre,post designs when assessing interventions in which subjects' assignment is based on cutoff scores for a critical variable. [source]

How Much Is Postacute Care Use Affected by Its Availability?

Melinda Beeuwkes Buntin
Objective. To assess the relative impact of clinical factors versus nonclinical factors,such as postacute care (PAC) supply,in determining whether patients receive care from skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) or inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) after discharge from acute care. Data Sources and Study Setting. Medicare acute hospital, IRF, and SNF claims provided data on PAC choices; predictors of site of PAC chosen were generated from Medicare claims, provider of services, enrollment file, and Area Resource File data. Study Design. We used multinomial logit models to predict PAC use by elderly patients after hospitalizations for stroke, hip fractures, or lower extremity joint replacements. Data Collection/Extraction Methods. A file was constructed linking acute and postacute utilization data for all medicare patients hospitalized in 1999. Principal Findings. PAC availability is a more powerful predictor of PAC use than the clinical characteristics in many of our models. The effects of distance to providers and supply of providers are particularly clear in the choice between IRF and SNF care. The farther away the nearest IRF is, and the closer the nearest SNF is, the less likely a patient is to go to an IRF. Similarly, the fewer IRFs, and the more SNFs, there are in the patient's area the less likely the patient is to go to an IRF. In addition, if the hospital from which the patient is discharged has a related IRF or a related SNF the patient is more likely to go there. Conclusions. We find that the availability of PAC is a major determinant of whether patients use such care and which type of PAC facility they use. Further research is needed in order to evaluate whether these findings indicate that a greater supply of PAC leads to both higher use of institutional care and better outcomes,or whether it leads to unwarranted expenditures of resources and delays in returning patients to their homes. [source]

The Cost-Effectiveness of Independent Housing for the Chronically Mentally Ill: Do Housing and Neighborhood Features Matter?

Joseph Harkness
Objective. To determine the effects of housing and neighborhood features on residential instability and the costs of mental health services for individuals with chronic mental illness (CMI). Data Sources. Medicaid and service provider data on the mental health service utilization of 670 individuals with CMI between 1988 and 1993 were combined with primary data on housing attributes and costs, as well as census data on neighborhood characteristics. Study participants were living in independent housing units developed under the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program on Chronic Mental Illness in four of nine demonstration cities between 1988 and 1993. Study Design. Participants were assigned on a first-come, first-served basis to housing units as they became available for occupancy after renovation by the housing providers. Multivariate statistical models are used to examine the relationship between features of the residential environment and three outcomes that were measured during the participant's occupancy in a study property: residential instability, community-based service costs, and hospital-based service costs. To assess cost-effectiveness, the mental health care cost savings associated with some residential features are compared with the cost of providing housing with these features. Data Collection/Extraction Methods. Health service utilization data were obtained from Medicaid and from state and local departments of mental health. Non-mental-health services, substance abuse services, and pharmaceuticals were screened out. Principal Findings. Study participants living in newer and properly maintained buildings had lower mental health care costs and residential instability. Buildings with a richer set of amenity features, neighborhoods with no outward signs of physical deterioration, and neighborhoods with newer housing stock were also associated with reduced mental health care costs. Study participants were more residentially stable in buildings with fewer units and where a greater proportion of tenants were other individuals with CMI. Mental health care costs and residential instability tend to be reduced in neighborhoods with many nonresidential land uses and a higher proportion of renters. Mixed-race neighborhoods are associated with reduced probability of mental health hospitalization, but they also are associated with much higher hospitalization costs if hospitalized. The degree of income mixing in the neighborhood has no effect. Conclusions. Several of the key findings are consistent with theoretical expectations that higher-quality housing and neighborhoods lead to better mental health outcomes among individuals with CMI. The mental health care cost savings associated with these favorable features far outweigh the costs of developing and operating properties with them. Support for the hypothesis that "diverse-disorganized" neighborhoods are more accepting of individuals with CMI and, hence, associated with better mental health outcomes, is mixed. [source]

The Impact of Medicaid Managed Care on Pregnant Women in Ohio: A Cohort Analysis

Embry M. Howell
Objective. To examine the impact of mandatory HMO enrollment for Medicaid-covered pregnant women on prenatal care use, smoking, Cesarean section (C-section) use, and birth weight. Data Sources/Study Setting. Linked birth certificate and Medicaid enrollment data from July 1993 to June 1998 in 10 Ohio counties, 6 that implemented mandatory HMO enrollment, and 4 with low levels of voluntary enrollment (under 15 percent). Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) is analyzed separately; the other mandatory counties and the voluntary counties are grouped for analysis, due to small sample sizes. Study Design. Women serve as their own controls, which helps to overcome the bias from unmeasured variables such as health beliefs and behavior. Changes in key outcomes between the first and second birth are compared between women who reside in mandatory HMO enrollment counties and those in voluntary enrollment counties. County of residence is the primary indicator of managed care status, since, in Ohio, women are allowed to "opt out" of HMO enrollment in mandatory counties in certain circumstances, leading to selection. As a secondary analysis, we compare women according to their HMO enrollment status at the first and second birth. Data Collection/Extraction Methods. Linked birth certificate/enrollment data were used to identify 4,917 women with two deliveries covered by Medicaid, one prior to the implementation of mandatory HMO enrollment (mid-1996) and one following implementation. Data for individual births were linked over time using a scrambled maternal Medicaid identification number. Principal Findings. The effects of HMO enrollment on prenatal care use and smoking were confined to Cuyahoga County, Ohio's largest county. In Cuyahoga, the implementation of mandatory enrollment was related to a significant deterioration in the timing of initiation of care, but an improvement in the number of prenatal visits. In that county also, women who smoked in their first pregnancy were less likely to smoke during the second pregnancy, compared to women in voluntary counties. Women residing in all the mandatory counties were less likely to have a repeat C-section. There were no effects on infant birth weight. The effects of women's own managed care status were inconsistent depending on the outcome examined; an interpretation of these results is hampered by selection issues. Changes over time in outcomes, both positive and negative, were more pronounced for African American women. Conclusions. With careful implementation and attention to women's individual differences as in Ohio, outcomes for pregnant women may improve with Medicaid managed care implementation. Quality monitoring should continue as Medicaid managed care becomes more widespread. More research is needed to identify the types of health maintenance organization activities that lead to improved outcomes. [source]

Risk Segmentation Related to the Offering of a Consumer-Directed Health Plan: A Case Study of Humana Inc.

Laura A. Tollen
Objective. To determine whether the offering of a consumer-directed health plan (CDHP) is likely to cause risk segmentation in an employer group. Study Setting and Data Source. The study population comprises the approximately 10,000 people (employees and dependents) enrolled as members of the employee health benefit program of Humana Inc. at its headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, during the benefit years starting July 1, 2000, and July 1, 2001. This analysis is based on primary collection of claims, enrollment, and employment data for those employees and dependents. Study Design. This is a case study of the experience of a single employer in offering two consumer-directed health plan options ("Coverage First 1" and "Coverage First 2") to its employees. We assessed the risk profile of those choosing the Coverage First plans and those remaining in more traditional health maintenance organization (HMO) and preferred provider organization (PPO) coverage. Risk was measured using prior claims (in dollars per member per month), prior utilization (admissions/1,000; average length of stay; prescriptions/1,000; physician office visit services/1,000), a pharmacy-based risk assessment tool (developed by Ingenix), and demographics. Data Collection/Extraction Methods. Complete claims and administrative data were provided by Humana Inc. for the two-year study period. Unique identifiers enabled us to track subscribers' individual enrollment and utilization over this period. Principal Findings. Based on demographic data alone, there did not appear to be a difference in the risk profiles of those choosing versus not choosing Coverage First. However, based on prior claims and prior use data, it appeared that those who chose Coverage First were healthier than those electing to remain in more traditional coverage. For each of five services, prior-year usage by people who subsequently enrolled in Coverage First 1 (CF1) was below 60 percent of the average for the whole group. Hospital and maternity admissions per thousand were less than 30 percent of the overall average; length of stay per hospital admission, physician office services per thousand, and prescriptions per thousand were all between 50 and 60 percent of the overall average. Coverage First 2 (CF2) subscribers' prior use of services was somewhat higher than CF1 subscribers', but it was still below average in every category. As with prior use, prior claims data indicated that Coverage First subscribers were healthier than average, with prior total claims less than 50 percent of average. Conclusions. In this case, the offering of high-deductible or consumer-directed health plan options alongside more traditional options caused risk segmentation within an employer group. The extent to which these findings are applicable to other cases will depend on many factors, including the employer premium contribution policies and employees' perception of the value of the various plan options. Further research is needed to determine whether risk segmentation will worsen in future years for this employer and if so, whether it will cause premiums for more traditional health plans to increase. [source]

Measuring the Quality of Diabetes Care Using Administrative Data: Is There Bias?

Nancy L. Keating
Objectives. Health care organizations often measure processes of care using only administrative data. We assessed whether measuring processes of diabetes care using administrative data without medical record data is likely to underdetect compliance with accepted standards for certain groups of patients. Data Sources/Study Setting. Assessment of quality indicators during 1998 using administrative and medical records data for a cohort of 1,335 diabetic patients enrolled in three Minnesota health plans. Study Design. Cross-sectional retrospective study assessing hemoglobin A1c testing, LDL cholesterol testing, and retinopathy screening from the two data sources. Analyses examined whether patient or clinic characteristics were associated with underdetection of quality indicators when administrative data were not supplemented with medical record data. Data Collection/Extraction Methods. The health plans provided administrative data, and trained abstractors collected medical records data. Principal Findings. Quality indicators that would be identified if administrative data were supplemented with medical records data are often not identified using administrative data alone. In adjusted analyses, older patients were more likely to have hemoglobin A1c testing underdetected in administrative data (compared to patients <45 years, OR 2.95, 95 percent CI 1.09 to 7.96 for patients 65 to 74 years, and OR 4.20, 95 percent CI 1.81 to 9.77 for patients 75 years and older). Black patients were more likely than white patients to have retinopathy screening underdetected using administrative data (2.57, 95 percent CI 1.16 to 5.70). Patients in different health plans also differed in the likelihood of having quality indicators underdetected. Conclusions. Diabetes quality indicators may be underdetected more frequently for elderly and black patients and the physicians, clinics, and plans who care for such patients when quality measurement is based on administrative data alone. This suggests that providers who care for such patients may be disproportionately affected by public release of such data or by its use in determining the magnitude of financial incentives. [source]

Quantifying Components of Drug Expenditure Inflation: The British Columbia Seniors' Drug Benefit Plan

Steven G Morgan
Objective. To quantify the relative and absolute importance of different factors contributing to increases in per capita prescription drug costs for a population of Canadian seniors. Data Sources/Study Setting. Data consist of every prescription claim from 1985 to 1999 for the British Columbia Pharmacare Plan A, a tax-financed public drug plan covering all community-dwelling British Columbians aged 65 and older. Study Design. Changes in per capita prescription drug expenditures are attributed to changes to four components of expenditure inflation: (1) the pattern of exposure to drugs across therapeutic categories; (2) the mix of drugs used within therapeutic categories; (3) the rate of generic drug product selection; and (4) the prices of unchanged products. Data Collection/Extraction Methods. Data were extracted from administrative claims files housed at the UBC Centre for Health Services and Policy Research. Principal Findings. Changes in drug prices, the pattern of exposure to drugs across therapeutic categories, and the mix of drugs used within therapeutic categories all caused spending per capita to increase. Incentives for generic substitution and therapeutic reference pricing policies temporarily slowed the cost-increasing influence of changes in product selection by encouraging the use of generic drug products and/or cost-effective brand-name products within therapeutic categories. Conclusions. The results suggest that drug plans (and patients) would benefit from more concerted efforts to evaluate the relative cost-effectiveness of competing products within therapeutic categories of drugs. [source]

Benefit-Cost Analysis of Addiction Treatment: Methodological Guidelines and Empirical Application Using the DATCAP and ASI

Michael T. French
Objective. To provide detailed methodological guidelines for using the Drug Abuse Treatment Cost Analysis Program (DATCAP) and Addiction Severity Index (ASI) in a benefit-cost analysis of addiction treatment. Data Sources/Study Setting. A representative benefit-cost analysis of three outpatient programs was conducted to demonstrate the feasibility and value of the methodological guidelines. Study Design. Procedures are outlined for using resource use and cost data collected with the DATCAP. Techniques are described for converting outcome measures from the ASI to economic (dollar) benefits of treatment. Finally, principles are advanced for conducting a benefit-cost analysis and a sensitivity analysis of the estimates. Data Collection/Extraction Methods. The DATCAP was administered at three outpatient drug-free programs in Philadelphia, PA, for 2 consecutive fiscal years (1996 and 1997). The ASI was administered to a sample of 178 treatment clients at treatment entry and at 7-months postadmission. Principal Findings. The DATCAP and ASI appear to have significant potential for contributing to an economic evaluation of addiction treatment. The benefit-cost analysis and subsequent sensitivity analysis all showed that total economic benefit was greater than total economic cost at the three outpatient programs, but this representative application is meant to stimulate future economic research rather than justifying treatment per se. Conclusions. This study used previously validated, research-proven instruments and methods to perform a practical benefit-cost analysis of real-world treatment programs. The study demonstrates one way to combine economic and clinical data and offers a methodological foundation for future economic evaluations of addiction treatment. [source]

Non-supportive interactions in the experience of women family caregivers

Anne Neufeld RN PhD
Abstract The purpose of this ethnographic study was to identify and describe types of non-supportive interactions perceived by 59 women family caregivers in four diverse situations. Participants included 15 mothers of infants born prematurely, 14 mothers of a child with a chronic disease (asthma or diabetes), and women caring for an adult family member with either cancer (15) or dementia (15). Data collection methods included an initial in-depth interview with all women, followed by a second interview with a smaller group of caregivers including a card sort exercise that was based on thematic content analysis of the first interview data. A typology of non-supportive interactions was developed from analysis of the first two interviews and confirmed in a final interview with a subset of study participants. Interviews were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. Women in all caregiving situations described experience with three types of non-supportive interactions. These interactions were negative, ineffective, or lacking expected support. The women's appraisal of interactions as supportive or non-supportive was rooted in their personal expectations and the context of their situation. Information about types of non-supportive interactions can sensitise professionals, family and friends to mismatches between their assistance and caregivers' requirements, potentially avoiding negative consequences. [source]

Long-term evaluation of animal-assisted therapy for institutionalized elderly people: a preliminary result

Abstract Background:, Many researchers theorize that animal-assisted therapy (AAT) will have an effect on people suffering from the symptoms of dementia by evaluating short-term-effects. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the psychological and behavioral effects of AAT on elderly residents of a nursing home on a long-term basis. Methods:, The subjects consisted of 10 residents of a residential nursing home. Researchers first created each participant's goal in an agreement with the nursing home staff. Visits were made twice a month, and on each occasion three or four dogs were taken. The residents were able to freely feed, hold and play with the dogs, with each dog placed on a separate table. Data collection methods included GBS Scale Japanese Version (GBSS-J) and Mental Function Impairment Scale (MENFIS). Data was collected four times during the period 2003,05. The scores were analyzed using SPSS11.5J. Results:, According to GBSS-J, the scores for intellectual function, spontaneity, emotional function and other mental functions decreased during the first 6 months of the study and then increased until the twelfth month. The score for Motor function increased over the 12 months. When comparisons were made item by item, there were significant decreases in impaired orientation in space, and emotional liability during the first 6 months. According to MENFIS, the overall score tended to decrease during the first 6-month period but increased from 6 months to 12 months. There was a tendency for scores to decrease in impaired emotional function, especially impaired suitability of emotional expression and impaired stability of emotional expression over the 12-month period. Conclusions:, After 6 months of participation in AAT, there were improvements in mental functions, though physical functions decreased. It is suggested that after a 6 month period each subject's needs and goals should be re-examined. [source]

Finding Ways to Create Connections Among Communities: Partial Results of an Ethnography of Urban Public Health Nurses

Judeen Schulte Ph.D.
The purpose of this ethnographic study was to describe the culture of public health nurses (PHNs) in a large, Midwestern urban health department. Data collection methods, data management, and analyses followed ethnographic procedures and resulted in the development of categories, domains, and cultural themes. The general study participants were PHNs, clients, supervisors, and administrators. The primary cultural theme that emerged was that public health nursing is finding ways to create connections among communities. Three interacting communities were identified: the local communities, communities created by individuals and families, and communities of resources. This article describes one of the three subthemes that emerged, processes used to help clients create connections, and describes how caring is shown uniquely in public health nursing. As a result of the study, implications for nursing practice, education, and research were developed. The results of the study supported a position that public health nursing is a unique nursing specialty. It reinforced also the applicability of an ethnographic design and methodology to nursing research. [source]

Hypoglycaemia in Type 2 diabetes

S. A. Amiel
Abstract The primary cause of hypoglycaemia in Type 2 diabetes is diabetes medication,in particular, those which raise insulin levels independently of blood glucose, such as sulphonylureas (SUs) and exogenous insulin. The risk of hypoglycaemia is increased in older patients, those with longer diabetes duration, lesser insulin reserve and perhaps in the drive for strict glycaemic control. Differing definitions, data collection methods, drug type/regimen and patient populations make comparing rates of hypoglycaemia difficult. It is clear that patients taking insulin have the highest rates of self-reported severe hypoglycaemia (25% in patients who have been taking insulin for > 5 years). SUs are associated with significantly lower rates of severe hypoglycaemia. However, large numbers of patients take SUs in the UK, and it is estimated that each year > 5000 patients will experience a severe event caused by their SU therapy which will require emergency intervention. Hypoglycaemia has substantial clinical impact, in terms of mortality, morbidity and quality of life. The cost implications of severe episodes,both direct hospital costs and indirect costs,are considerable: it is estimated that each hospital admission for severe hypoglycaemia costs around £1000. Hypoglycaemia and fear of hypoglycaemia limit the ability of current diabetes medications to achieve and maintain optimal levels of glycaemic control. Newer therapies, which focus on the incretin axis, may carry a lower risk of hypoglycaemia. Their use, and more prudent use of older therapies with low risk of hypoglycaemia, may help patients achieve improved glucose control for longer, and reduce the risk of diabetic complications. [source]

Research sensitivities to palliative care patients

J. Addington-Hall phd
Research sensitivities to palliative care patients This paper considers the methodological challenges of researching the health care experiences of palliative care patients and their families. Difficulties in defining a ,palliative care patient' are highlighted, and the question of whether there are specific ethical issues when researching palliative care explored. Methodological issues are discussed, including the negotiation of access via health professionals, the choice of appropriate data collection methods and tools, the consequences of high attrition rates and the use of retrospective surveys of bereaved relatives. Key areas for research are identified. These include patients' and families' experiences of research participation, the impact of being approached on those who decline, how the characteristics of those who participate differ from those who do not and the likely impact of this on findings. Research is also needed into patient and family motivations for participation, and whether and how these change as the disease progresses. To ensure that the voices of palliative care patients and their families are heard by both service providers and policy-makers, research in this area needs to address the methodological challenges raised in this paper, as well as continuing to explore users' views. [source]

Evaluating the context within which continence care is provided in rehabilitation units for older people

Jayne Wright
Aim., This paper presents the first phase of an all Ireland 2-year study between the University of Ulster and University College Cork, to determine the contextual indicators that enable or hinder person centred continence care and management in rehabilitation settings for older people. The primary outcome of the study was the development of a tool to enable practitioners to assess the practice context within which continence care is provided. The main focus of this paper is the value of understanding practice ,context' (culture, leadership and evaluation) and its impact to the provision of person centred continence care. Background., The literature highlights the effect of continence problems on the quality of life of older people. Incontinence is often seen by health care professionals and older people as an inevitable consequence of ageing and difficult to treat. Furthermore, health care professionals do not always have the necessary skills and knowledge of best practice in continence care and treatments. The Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) framework utilized in the study proposes that successful implementation of evidence in practice is dependent on the inter-relationship of three key elements; the nature of the evidence, the quality of the context and expert facilitation. Kitson et al. propose that for successful implementation, evidence needs to be robust, the context receptive to change and appropriate facilitation is needed. Consequently understanding practice ,context' and its impact on the provision of person centred continence care is of value. Methods., Case study methodology with several data collection methods was utilized to measure all aspects of ,context' as identified by the PARIHS framework. Methods include: Royal College of Physicians Audit Scheme, Staff Knowledge questionnaire, semi-structured observation of practice and multidisciplinary focus groups. Findings., The data were analysed in two stages. Stage 1 using both qualitative and quantitative (SPSS 12) methods. Stage 2 analysed all the data utilizing the characteristics of context from the PARIHS framework in order to identify the strong and weak characteristics of the context within which continence care was provided. Continence care and management in this study was found to be focused on continence containment rather than proactive management. The evidence suggests that the context (leadership, culture and evaluation) was weak and not conducive to person centred continence care and management. Conclusion., An analysis of the data using the context framework provided a picture of the context within the units and the identification of the specific contextual issues hindering and enabling the delivery of person centred continence care. This process has thus, added to our understanding of the importance of context to the provision of person-centred care. [source]

Methodological issues in online data collection

Mary Ann Cantrell
Abstract Title.,Methodological issues in online data collection Aim., This paper is a report of a study to evaluate the use of an online data collection method to survey early survivors of childhood cancer about their physical and psychosocial characteristics and health-related quality of life. Background., A major advantage in conducting web-based nursing research is the ability to involve participants who are challenging to study because of their small numbers or inaccessibility because of geographic location. As paediatric oncology patients and early survivors of childhood cancer are often not easily accessible because of their small numbers at single institutions, web-based research methods have been proposed as a potentially effective approach to collect data in studies involving these clinical populations. Method., Guided by published literature on using the Internet for data collection, an online protocol was developed; this included construction of a website, development of a homepage and interactive HyperText Markup Language pages and the posting of the study link on various websites. Data collection occurred over a 6-month period between December 2005 and May 2006. Findings., Despite using strategies in conducting online research cited in published literature, the recruitment of subjects was very prolonged and the volume of missing data among many respondents excluded them from the study and created bias within the study's results. Conclusion., Web-based, online data collection methods create opportunities to conduct research globally, especially among difficult to access populations. However, web-based research requires careful consideration of how the study will be advertized and how data will be collected to ensure high quality data and validity of the findings. [source]

Assessing mothers' concerns in the postpartum period: methodological issues

Helen I. Lugina MN PhD RN RM
Aim., This paper reports a study evaluating the sensitivity of a semi-structured interview schedule and card sort methods in assessing postpartum concerns of women. Background., Several methods have been used to assess postpartum maternal concerns and the process of becoming a mother, but few studies have evaluated the methods with respect to their sensitivity for obtaining information. Method., A cohort of mothers was followed-up at one (n = 110) and 6 weeks (n = 83) after childbirth in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Women with a minimum of 7 years of primary education were interviewed and they also sorted cards. Those with less fewer than 7 years of primary education were interviewed only. The methods were used in alternate order to assess method interaction. Results., In the interviews at 1 week, mothers more often expressed worry and interest related to the baby or themselves when they had sorted cards first. The extent to which women expressed worry and interest about specific baby- and mother-related topics was generally higher for women who had sorted cards before the interview at both 1 and 6 weeks. Independent of whether they were interviewed only, interviewed after sorting cards or before, mothers more often expressed a higher degree of interest than of worry about the baby and self at both 1 and 6 weeks. The order of the data collection methods did not influence the way women sorted cards as being worries and interests. Conclusion., Compared to interview using a semi-structured interview schedule, our findings suggest that the card sort is more sensitive in obtaining information about women's concerns. Although the interview method has the advantage of reaching less educated people, the card sort is a technique that is associated with fewer barriers and is a more participatory method for those who can use it. [source]