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Title: Economic Analysis of Specialist Referral Patterns in Mackay, Queensland Following HealthPathways Implementation
Authors: Blythe, Robin
Lee, Xing
Simmons, Toni
Cox, Janine
McLean, Kathleen
Barfield, Josephine
Kularatna, Sanjeewa
Issue Date: 3-Sep-2021
Publisher: SAGE
Source: Robin Blythe, Xing Lee, Toni Simmons, Janine Cox, Kathleen McLean, Josephine Barfield, & Sanjeewa Kularatna. (2021). Economic Analysis of Specialist Referral Patterns in Mackay, Queensland Following HealthPathways Implementation. Journal of Primary Care & Community Health, 12.
Journal: Journal of primary care & community health
Abstract: HealthPathways is a clinical information portal developed in New Zealand that enables general practitioners to manage and refer their patients in a local context. We analyzed specialist outpatient appointment costs in Mackay, Queensland before and after HealthPathways implementation. We retrospectively examined specialist outpatient costs for patients referred by Mackay general practitioners for conditions with varying levels of HealthPathways implementation. Ranked from most clinical pathways available to none, chronic diabetes, cardiology, respiratory, and urology visits from January to March 2015, pre-pathways, and January to March 2017, post-pathways, were assessed. Monte Carlo simulation was used to estimate cost changes. Per-visit costs were multiplied by visit numbers to estimate policy impact. The mean cost per visit increased from $220 to $305 for diabetes and $270 to $323 for respiratory, and decreased from $296 to $257 for cardiology and $444 to $293 for urology. The policy impact for each disease group over 3 months after accounting for visit numbers was a likely saving of $30 360 for diabetes and $10 270 for cardiology, and a likely cost increase of $24 449 for respiratory and $20 536 for urology. We observed that conditions with more comprehensive clinical pathways cost Mackay HHS substantially less following implementation. Costs for low and no pathway implementation referrals increased slightly over the same period.
Description: The author(s) declared the following potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Authors at the Mackay Hospital and Health Service and the Northern Queensland Primary Health Network receive a salary from the 2 institutions that partnered to implement HealthPathways in Mackay.
DOI: 10.1177/21501327211041489
Keywords: Computer applications to medicine;Medical Informatics;Public aspects of medicine;HealthPathways;program evaluation;health economics;cost-effectiveness;primary care;clinical pathways;health policy;specialist care;ambulatory care;integrated care
Type: Article
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