Treatment of Pneumonias in a Managed-Care Organisation: The Impact of a Treatment Guideline Promotion on Physician Prescribing Behaviour
Edward P. Armstrong
Paul C. Langley
Objective: To evaluate a pneumonia disease management programme in a naturalistic setting. Design and Setting: A 300 000 member managed-care organisation introduced an antibacterial treatment guideline designed to change antibacterial prescribing by physicians. A relational database was created to measure changes in healthcare resources, use of antibacterials and health event profiles. One year of data before and after promoting the treatment guideline was compared. Intervention: The primary disease management intervention was the promotion of the guideline through mailings and face-to-face interventions by 2 disease management specialists. Participants: All patients with pneumonia diagnoses on the medical claims database were included in the analysis. Results: The study demonstrated that medical costs increased by 5 to 10% after the treatment guideline was implemented. Health event analysis demonstrated changes in antibacterial prescribing and average cost per antibacterial selected. In both years, the highest success rate was with the amoxicillin group. Although there were fewer patients, doxycycline also had success rates of at least 70%. The econometric model demonstrated that holding other variables constant, including patient age and the presence of any comorbidities, treatment with amoxicillin was associated with a statistically significant reduction in health event costs. Conclusions: The study identified the need for validating treatment guidelines with results from actual practice. The data also demonstrate the use and importance of measuring clinical and economic outcomes from disease management interventions by using databases readily available within most managed-care organisations. In addition, the econometric model was useful in comparing different drug groups with these retrospective data.
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