Quality of diabetes care and health insurance coverage: a retrospective study in an outpatient academic public hospital in SwitzerlandReport as inadecuate

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BMC Health Services Research

, 16:540

Quality, performance, safety and outcomes


BackgroundSocioeconomic disadvantage is associated with an increased risk of adverse diabetes outcomes. In Switzerland, a country with theoretical universal healthcare coverage, people without health insurance face barriers in accessing to and in receiving standard quality care. The Geneva University Hospitals HUG have implemented policies aiming at reducing these gaps. We compared quality of diabetes care and ambulatory healthcare services utilization among insured and uninsured diabetic patients.

MethodsThis retrospective study linked health and administrative data of type 2 diabetic outpatients with at least one HbA1c test performed in 2012–2013 at HUG. Quality of care evaluation relied on processes annual serum HbA1c, cholesterol and microalbuminuria tesing and outcomes HbA1c assessment. Healthcare utilization was assessed by the number of ambulatory clinical and laboratory visits. Results were stratified by disease course newly diagnosed versus prevalent diabetes.

ResultsOf the 198 patients included, 80 40.4 % were uninsured. Both groups underwent annual testing of HbA1c, cholesterol, kidney function and microalbuminuria at comparably high rates and numbers of ambulatory visits did not significantly differ. After adjustments for age and sex, there were no significant differences in serum HbA1c between groups both in those with prevalent or with newly diagnosed diabetes. Initial medical intervention entailed comparable glycaemic improvement after 6 months in incident diabetes among insured and uninsured patients.

ConclusionsThis study did not find any difference in quality of diabetes care between insured and uninsured patients in a public hospital enforcing health-equity policies for access to and for delivery of standard diabetes care. It highlights the frontline role of public hospitals in contributing to care delivery equity even in countries with theoretical universal healthcare coverage.

KeywordsDiabetes Quality of care Health insurance Coverage Equity Hospital AbbreviationsHbA1cGlycated haemoglobin

HUGGeneva University Hospitals

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Author: Yves Jackson - Juan Carlos Lozano Becerra - Marc Carpentier

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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