The article is about a study carried out by the members of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) on an examination of the relationship between the treatment by a Diabetes Recognition Program certified physician and health-related outcomes for patients with diabetes including the use of medical resource, healthcare expenditure, and prescription utilization (Nair, 2011). The article also compares the influence of management by a physicians certified by DRP on patient results. The research was conducted through an exposition assertion analysis of enrolment, pharmacy, and medical information from a huge United States’ database of insured patients. The considered patients had covers for facility, professional and outpatient medical services between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2007 involving 14 million patients (Nair, 2011).
The subjects of the study were physicians involved in treating adult patients with diabetes of type 2 between January 1, 2007 and November 30, 2007. Treating physicians referred to family physicians, endocrinologists, and internists of the primary, tertiary, and secondary levels. The study required that the physicians were DRP certified by NCQA or not certified by DRP by NCQA in any available program; the ratio used for the certified and the uncertified physicians was 1:1 (Nair, 2011).
The analysis done in the study was on patient’s post-index diabetes office visits, outpatient visits, emergency visits, and inpatient visits, prescription rates, and total diabetes-related expenditure on patients treated by the physicians certified by DRP and those treated by physicians not certified by DRP. The author found that patients treated by physicians certified by DRP had higher outpatient appointments and post-index diabetes office than those treated by physicians not certified by DRP. However, patients treated by physicians certified by DRP had lower emergency and inpatient calls than those treated by physicians not certified by DRP. Expenditure by patients with diabetes of type 2 treated by physicians not certified by DRP was higher than that of patients treated by physicians certified by DRP (Nair, 2011). The conclusions made from the findings were that there exists noteworthy disparity in the use of oral antihyperglycemic and statin drug as well as emergencies and inpatient appointments related to diabetes between the groups of patients treated by non-DRP certified and physicians certified by DRP depicting general augmented performance by patients treated by physicians certified by DRP (Nair, 2011).
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The article is written clearly as it presents the information in a presentable manner; all the procedures, analytic techniques, and mathematical calculations are used in the article. It encompasses all areas and uses a large sample hence improved validity and ability to extrapolate the conclusion. The intended audience will clearly understand the contents of the article, because the research relates to the medical field where the targeted population falls into. The presentation of the information and conclusions are presented in a clear, well-designed format.
The study could be improved through the consideration of the length of illness of the patients as this affects the inpatient, outpatient, expenditure, and drug use that are the independent variables irrespective of the treating physician being DRP certified or non-DRP certified. Data on expenditure, inpatient, outpatient, drug use, and demographic characteristics of the patients were used as evidence to support the conclusion made in the study reported by the article. There were no biases in the conclusions since they were drawn from the findings which can be easily verified by the data analyzed in the research. Management implications of the research include the increased incentives to physicians through certification based on improved clinical eminence on patient outcomes.
The article was interesting and covered an important topic. The author tackled the problem in an appropriate manner, but it would be better to use less technical medical jargon.