Association Between Sustained Glycated Hemoglobin Control and Healthcare Costs
D.T. Juarez, R. Goo, S. Tokumaru, T. Sentell, J.W. Davis, M.M. Mau
American Journal Pharmacy Benefits
Objective—To examine the relationship between sustained glycemic control and health care costs among patients with diabetes with an initial hemoglobin A1c≥9%. Study Design/Methods—We conducted a retrospective analysis of administrative data from patients with diabetes and initial poor HbA1c control enrolled in a large health plan in Hawai’i (n=1304). We used propensity scores to identify a comparable cohort based on age, gender, type of coverage, diabetes duration, number of medications, location of residence, comorbidity conditions, and morbidity level. We examined the relationship between reduced A1c values and costs in the same year as well as the impact of achieving sustained A1c control (at < 7%)for three years on changes in health care costs using generalized linear models. Results—In cross-sectional comparisons, the average annual direct medical costs for patients withHbA1c less than 7% was $14,821 compared to $12,108 for the matched sample of patients with A1c greater than or equal to 7%, for a difference of $2,713 95%CI[$285, $5,140]. In contrast, when we examined the change in cost from 2006 to 2009 for patients who had sustained levels of A1c at <7% for all three years, we found that total cost care for patients with sustained control decreased by $2,207 compared to a $3,006 increase for patients without sustained control, for a difference of −$5,214, 95%CI[−$10,163, −$264].