Impacts of a government-sponsored outpatient-based disease management program for patients with asthma: A preliminary analysis of national data from Taiwan

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In response to the high prevalence rates, mortality rates, and rising medical cost of asthma, the Bureau of National Health Insurance (BNHI) initiated a Healthcare Quality Improvement Program (HQIP) for people with asthma. The aim of this study was to investigate a preliminary analysis of the impact of a government-sponsored, outpatient-based disease management programs for people with asthma on the economic outcomes, the physician's and the patient's satisfaction. Using a retrospective design, a 1:4 (intervention vs. control group) matched cohort study design was used. Comparison of 1-year pre/post tests of utilizations of healthcare resources were conducted for 854 already diagnosed cases of patients with asthma. Comparison of independent tests between the intervention group and control group were performed for already diagnosed cases (n = 854) and newly-diagnosed cases (n = 231). Valid surveys were received from 212 physicians who participated the program, for a response rate of 46.0%, and 642 patients who enrolled in the program, for a response rate of 27.70%. Results indicated that the intervention group of already diagnosed cases had 39.94% fewer ED visits, 46.31% fewer inpatient visits, and 51.74% shorter length of stay, at a significant level. Though the HQIP program for people with asthma appeared to reduce medical care resource utilization for the intervention group, the control groups showed similar reductions but in different magnitude. For the newly diagnosed group, the intervention group had 197.43% more outpatient visits and 61.19% fewer ED visits of than those of the control group at a significant level. A majority of physicians (70%-85%) had positive opinions toward the HQIP program, but they admitted that the HQIP program prolonged the consultation time in outpatient visits (79.1%), and only 29.7% physicians did not feel interfered with while carrying out the HQIP. More than 80% of the patients showed positive feedback to the HQIP. The majority of the patients substantially adhered to physicians' suggestions, and had more accurate knowledge of and better self-care skills concerning asthma. These results have significance for the design of future programs aimed at improving the care of people with asthma and other chronic diseases in BNHI, Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-58
Number of pages11
JournalDisease Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy


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