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Designing Payment for Collaborative Care for Depression in Primary Care

Authors

  • Yuhua Bao,

    1. Department of Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College, 402 E 67th St., New York, NY 10065
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    • Address correspondence to Yuhua Bao, Ph.D., Department of Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College, 402 E 67th St., New York, NY 10065; e-mail: yub2003@med.cornell.edu. Lawrence P. Casalino, M.D., Ph.D., is with the Department of Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY. Susan L. Ettner, Ph.D., is with the Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Department of Health Services, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA. Martha L. Bruce, Ph.D., M.P.H., is with the Department of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College, White Plains, NY. Leif I. Solberg, M.D., is with the Health Partners Research Foundation, Minneapolis, MN. Jürgen Unützer, M.D., M.P.H., M.A., is with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA.

  • Lawrence P. Casalino,

    1. Department of Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY
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  • Susan L. Ettner,

    1. Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Department of Health Services, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
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  • Martha L. Bruce,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College, White Plains, NY
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  • Leif I. Solberg,

    1. Health Partners Research Foundation, Minneapolis, MN
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  • Jürgen Unützer

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA
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Abstract

Objective. To design a bundled case rate for Collaborative Care for Depression (CCD) that aligns incentives with evidence-based depression care in primary care.

Data Sources. A clinical information system used by all care managers in a randomized controlled trial of CCD for older primary care patients.

Study Design. We conducted an empirical investigation of factors accounting for variation in CCD resource use over time and across patients. CCD resource use at the patient-episode and patient-month levels was measured by number of care manager contacts and direct patient contact time and analyzed with count data (Poisson or negative binomial) models.

Principal Findings. Episode-level resource use varies substantially with patient's time in the program. Monthly use declines sharply in the first 6 months regardless of treatment response or remission status, but it remains stable afterwards. An adjusted episode or monthly case rate design better matches payment with variation in resource use compared with a fixed design.

Conclusions. Our findings lend support to an episode payment adjusted by number of months receiving CCD and a monthly payment adjusted by the ordinal month. Nonpayment tools including program certification and performance evaluation and reward systems are needed to fully align incentives.

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