How does an integrated primary care approach for patients in deprived neighbourhoods impact utilization patterns? An explorative study

Dionne S. Kringos*, Jennifer R. Van Den Broeke, Arnold P.M. Van Der Lee, Thomas Plochg, Karien Stronks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: To explore changes in utilization patterns for general practice (GP) and hospital care of people living in deprived neighbourhoods when primary care providers work in a more coherent and coordinated manner by applying an integrated approach. Methods: We compared expected (based on consumption patterns of a health insurers' total population) and actual utilization patterns in a deprived Dutch intervention district in the city of Utrecht (Overvecht) with control districts 1 (Noordwest) and 2 (Kanaleneiland) over the period 2006-2011, when an integrated care approach was increasingly provided in the intervention district. Standardized insurance claims data were used to indicate use of GP care and hospital care. Results: Our findings revealed that the utilization of total GP care increased more in the intervention district than in the control districts. And that the intervention district showed a more pronounced decreasing trend in total hospital use as compared to what was expected, in particular from 2008 onwards. In addition, we observed a change in type of GP care use in the intervention district in particular: the number of regular consultations, long consultations, GP home visits and evening, night and weekend consultations were increasingly higher than expected. The intervention district also showed the largest decrease between actual and expected use of ambulatory care, clinical care and 1-day hospitalizations. Conclusions: Utilization patterns for general practice and hospital care of people living in deprived districts may change when primary care professionals work in a more coherent and coordinated manner by applying a more 'comprehensive' integrated care approach. Results support the expectation that a comprehensive integrated care approach might eventually contribute to the future sustainability of healthcare systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number545
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2016

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