Impact of the medical home model on the quality of primary care: the Belgian experience

Catherine Moureaux, Julian Perelman, Elise Mendes Da Costa, Isabelle Roch, Lieven Annemans, Isabelle Heymans, Marie Christine Closon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The Belgium medical home (MH) model, which has been garnering support of late, resembles its US counterpart in that it aims at improving the quality of health care while containing costs. Objectives: To compare the quality of care offered by MHs with that offered by traditional individual practices (IPs) in Belgium in terms of the extent of their adherence to clinical practice guidelines in antibiotherapy, cervical-cancer screening, influenza vaccination, and the management of diabetes. Research Design: This is a retrospective study using public insurance claims data. Data consisted of a random sample of patients using the services of MHs and IPs who were previously matched according to sex, age category, location, disability, and socioeconomic status. We applied the McNemar test, the t test, or the Wilcoxon test, depending on the type of variable being compared. Subjects: The final sample comprised 43,678 patients in the year 2004. Measures: On the basis of a review of the literature, we selected 4 themes, corresponding to 25 indicators: antibiotherapy, cervical-cancer screening, influenza vaccination, and the management of diabetes. Results: MHs were more likely than IPs to adhere to evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. They prescribed less and more appropriate antibiotherapy, provided wider influenza-vaccination coverage for target groups, and provided a better follow-up for diabetics than did IPs. In regard to cervical-cancer screening, no significant differences were found. Conclusions: MHs, as they combine a greater adherence to guidelines and savings in secondary care, are a cost-effective alternative to traditional IPs and therefore should be encouraged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-400
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Care
Volume53
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2015

Keywords

  • clinical practice guidelines
  • medical home
  • primary care
  • quality

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