The effect of a mobile integrated health program on health care cost and utilization

Daniel B. Gingold, Yuanyuan Liang, Benoit Stryckman, David Marcozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To measure the effect of a mobile integrated health community paramedicine (MIH-CP) transitional care program on hospital utilization, emergency department visits, and charges. Data Sources: Retrospective secondary data from the electronic health record and regional health information exchange were used to analyze patients discharged from a large academic medical center and an affiliated community hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, May 2018–October 2019. Study Design: We performed an observational study comparing patients enrolled in an MIH-CP program to propensity-matched controls. Propensity scores were calculated using measures of demographics, clinical characteristics, social determinants of health, and prior health care utilization. The primary outcome is inpatient readmission within 30 days of discharge. Secondary outcomes include excess days in acute care 30 days after discharge and emergency department visits, observation hospitalizations, and total health care charges within 30 and 60 days of discharge. Data Collection: Included patients were over 18 years old, discharged to home from internal/family medicine services, and live in eligible ZIP codes. The intervention group was enrolled in the MIH-CP program; controls met inclusion criteria but were not enrolled during the study period. Principal Findings: The adjusted model showed no difference in 30-day inpatient readmission between 464 enrolled patients and propensity-matched controls (adjusted incidence rate ratio = 1.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.89, 1.60]). There was a higher rate of observation hospitalizations within 30 days of index discharge for MIH-CP patients (adjusted incidence rate ratio = 1.78, 95% CI = [1.01, 3.14]). This difference did not persist at 60 days, and there were no differences in other secondary outcomes. Conclusions: We found no significant difference in short-term health care utilization or charges between patients enrolled in an MIH-CP transitional care program and propensity-matched controls. This highlights the importance of well-controlled, robust evaluations of effectiveness in novel care-delivery systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1146-1155
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Services Research
Volume56
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • care management
  • care transition
  • community paramedicine
  • health care utilization
  • mobile integrated health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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