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Quality of Disease Management and Risk of Mortality in English Primary Care Practices

Keywords: Disease management; chronic conditions; primary care; quality; mortality

Objective: To investigate whether better management of chronic conditions by family practices reduces mortality risk.

Data: Two random samples of 5 million patients registered with over 8,000 English family practices followed up for 4 years (2004/5–2007/8). Measures of the quality of disease management for 10 conditions were constructed for each family practice for each year. The outcome measure was an indicator taking the value 1 if the patient died during a specified year, 0 otherwise.

Study Design: Cross-section and multilevel panel data multiple logistic regressions were estimated. Covariates included age, gender, morbidity, hospitalizations, attributed socio-economic characteristics, and local health care supply measures.

Principal Findings: Although a composite measure of the quality of disease management for all 10 conditions was significantly associated with lower mortality, only the quality of stroke care was significant when all 10 quality measures were entered in the regression.

Conclusions: The panel data results suggest that a 1 percent improvement in the quality of stroke care could reduce the annual number of deaths in England by 782 [95 percent CI: 423, 1140]. A longer study period may be necessary to detect any mortality impact of better management of other conditions.

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