Effectiveness of multidisciplinary team case management: difference-in-differences analysis

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    Objectives To evaluate a multidisciplinary team (MDT) case management intervention, at the individual (direct effects of intervention) and practice levels (potential spillover effects). Design Difference-in-differences design with multiple intervention start dates, analysing hospital admissions data. In secondary analyses, we stratified individual-level results by risk score. Setting Single clinical commissioning group (CCG) in the UK's National Health Service (NHS). Participants At the individual level, we matched 2049 intervention patients using propensity scoring one-to-one with control patients. At the practice level, 30 practices were compared using a natural experiment through staged implementation. Intervention Practice Integrated Care Teams (PICTs), using MDT case management of high-risk patients together with a summary record of care versus usual care. Direct and indirect outcome measures Primary measures of intervention effects were accident and emergency (A&E) visits; inpatient non-elective stays, 30-day re-admissions; inpatient elective stays; outpatient visits; and admissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions. Secondary measures included inpatient length of stay; total cost of secondary care services; and patient satisfaction (at the practice level only). Results At the individual level, we found slight, clinically trivial increases in inpatient non-elective admissions (+0.01 admissions per patient per month; 95% CI 0.00 to 0.01. Effect size (ES): 0.02) and 30-day re-admissions (+0.00; 0.00 to 0.01. ES: 0.03). We found no indication that highest risk patients benefitted more from the intervention. At the practice level, we found a small decrease in inpatient non-elective admissions (−0.63 admissions per 1000 patients per month; −1.17 to −0.09. ES: −0.24). However, this result did not withstand a robustness check; the estimate may have absorbed some differences in underlying practice trends. Conclusions The intervention does not meet its primary aim, and the clinical significance and cost-effectiveness of these small practice-level effects is debatable. There is an ongoing need to develop effective ways to reduce unnecessary attendances in secondary care for the high-risk population.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere010468
    JournalBMJ Open
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2016


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