Primary care practices incur considerable costs for collecting data on diabetes quality improvement programs
Research Activities, December 2012, No. 388
The time and resources needed for individual primary care practices to provide all recommended care for all patients with diabetes can be daunting, especially in the face of similar recommendations for other chronic diseases and preventive care. Measuring and reporting quality data on the recommended care can also incur considerable costs, according to a new study.
The researchers analyzed six primary care practices in Colorado that were participating in a diabetes quality improvement program. They found that the cost for data collection and reporting were approximately $15,552 per practice (about $6.23 per diabetic patient per month). The first year maintenance cost for this effort was approximately $9,553 per practice ($3.83 per diabetic patient per month). They concluded that the cost for implementing and maintaining a diabetes quality improvement effort, which includes formal data collection and reporting mechanisms, was significant and quantifiable. They suggest that policymakers become aware of the financial and cultural impact on primary care practices when considering value-based purchasing initiatives.
The researchers suggest that if meaningful and durable change is to be achieved, the requisite resources that adequately cover the cost of quality improvement and the collateral data collection and reporting must be made available. This study was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Contract No. 290-07-100081).
See "Costs associated with data collection and reporting for diabetes quality improvement in primary care practices: A report from SNOCAP-USA," by David R. West, Ph.D., Tiffany A. Radcliff, Ph.D., Tiffany Brown, Ph.D., and others in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 25, pp. 275-282, 2012.