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Quality of asthma care under different primary care models in Canada: a population-based study

To T, Guan J, Zhu J, Lougheed MD, Kaplan A, Tamari I, Stanbrook MB, Simatovic J, Feldman L, Gershon AS. BMC Fam Pract. 2015; 16:19.


Background — Previous research has shown variations in quality of care and patient outcomes under different primary care models. The objective of this study was to use previously validated, evidence-based performance indicators to measure quality of asthma care over time and to compare quality of care between different primary care models.

Methods — Data were obtained for years 2006 to 2010 from the Ontario Asthma Surveillance Information System, which uses health administrative databases to track individuals with asthma living in the province of Ontario, Canada. Individuals with asthma (n=1,813,922) were divided into groups based on the practice model of their primary care provider (i.e., fee-for-service, blended fee-for-service, blended capitation). Quality of asthma care was measured using six validated, evidence-based asthma care performance indicators.

Results — All of the asthma performance indicators improved over time within each of the primary care models. Compared to the traditional fee-for-service model, the blended fee-for-service and blended capitation models had higher use of spirometry for asthma diagnosis and monitoring, higher rates of inhaled corticosteroid prescription, and lower outpatient claims. Emergency department visits were lowest in the blended fee-for-service group.

Conclusions — Quality of asthma care improved over time within each of the primary care models. However, the amount by which they improved differed between the models. The newer primary care models (i.e., blended fee-for-service, blended capitation) appear to provide better quality of asthma care compared to the traditional fee-for-service model.

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Keywords: Asthma Primary care/clinical practice Performance measurement

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