Article: a PhD thesis.
Managing diabetes in Switzerland : a systemic approach
van Ackere A.
Université de Lausanne, Faculté des hautes études commerciales
HEC LausanneQuartier UNIL-DorignyBâtiment InternefCH - 1015 Lausanne
Number of pages
Executive summaryThe increasing prevalence of chronic diseases is one of the major causes of rising health expenditure, as stated by the WHO. Not only chronic diseases are very costly, but they are by far the leading cause of mortality in the world, representing 60% of all deaths. Diabetes in particular is becoming a major burden of disease. In Switzerland around 5% of the population suffer of type 2 diabetes and 5 to 10% of the annual health care budget is attributable to diabetes. If the predictions of WHO do realise, the prevalence of diabetes will double until 2030 and so is expected the attributable health expenditure.The objective of this thesis is to provide policy recommendations as to slow down the disease progression and its costly complication. We study the factors that influence diabetes dynamics and the interventions that improve health outcomes while decreasing costs according to different time horizon and use systems thinking and system dynamic.Our results show that managing diabetes requires using integrated care interventions that are effective on three fronts: (1) delaying the onset of complications, (2) slowing down the disease progression and (3) accelerating the time to diagnosis of diabetes and its complications. We recommend firstly the implementation of those interventions targeted at changing patients' behaviour which are also less expensive, but require a change in the delivery of care and medical practices. Then policies targeted at an earlier diagnosis of diabetes, its prevention and the diagnosis of complications are to be considered. This sequence of interventions allows saving money, as total costs decrease, even including the costs of interventions and result in longer life expectancy of diabetics in the long term.In diabetes management there is therefore a trade-off between medical costs and patients' benefits on the one hand and between the objectives of obtaining results in the short or long term on the other hand. Decision makers need to deliver acceptable outcomes in the short term. Considering this criterion, the preferred policy may be to focus only on diagnosed diabetics, thus attempting to slow down the progression of their disease, compared to an integrated care approach addressing all the aspects of the disease. Such a policy also yields desirable results in terms of costs and patients' benefits.
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