13 December 2017

Specialized ParkinsonNet physiotherapy leads to better care at lower costs. This is the conclusion of large-scale research conducted by the CZ healthcare insurance company and Radboudumc, who studied the medical claims declarations of over four thousand people with Parkinson’s disease for a period of three years. The specialized physiotherapists needed fewer treatment sessions, and the patients sustained fewer complications. The healthcare costs were also significantly lower. The results of this new research will be published in The Lancet Neurology on 13 December.

There is increasing evidence that patients with Parkinson’s disease benefit from allied health interventions, such as physiotherapy or occupational therapy. Parkinson-specific expertise is needed for optimal treatment of people with Parkinson’s disease. Professionals who have been trained as part of the Dutch national ParkinsonNet have this expertise. Previous scientific research showed that the ParkinsonNet approach results in better care at lower costs. However, little was known about the added value of this approach in the long-term, and in day-to-day practice. Therefore, the healthcare insurer CZ initiated an analysis of their medical claims database including 4,381 patients who had data available for a period of 3 years.
 
This results show that patients who had been treated by a specialized physiotherapist sustained significantly fewer complications such as bone fractures, and were also less likely to be admitted to a hospital. There was also a tendency towards a lower mortality rate among those who had received the specialized treatment. The costs of this specialized physiotherapy were also significantly lower. On average, patients claimed almost € 400 less per year for specialized treatment than for regular treatment, and the total annual healthcare costs (including the medical specialist care) were on average € 530 lower per patient, because hospital admissions were avoided. In the Netherlands, this represents an estimated annual cost saving of over € 11 million.
 
Researcher Jan Ypinga from CZ is pleased with the results: “This is the first time that research into this subject has been carried out among such a large, representative patient group, and over several years. We now have insight into the impact of specialized treatment in everyday clinical practice. I’m glad that patients experienced fewer complications, such as a bone fracture after a fall, if they received specialized physiotherapy. This is really good news for people with Parkinson’s disease. And it enables patients and professionals to make a conscious choice for high-quality care.’
 
Professor Bas Bloem from the Radboudumc mainly emphasizes the importance of specialized care for a complex disorder such as Parkinson’s disease: “This analysis of medical claims data sheds new light on the added value of ParkinsonNet in everyday clinical practice. These new findings make it very clear that people with Parkinson’s disease deserve to be treated by an expert with a deep understanding of this complex condition, and who is fully up-to-date on all the latest insights and treatment options.”

Link to publication

Related news items


More expertise needed for patients with prolonged Disorder of Consciousness

14 November 2019

Willemijn van Erp published in the Annals of Neurology that nearly 80% of people with Unresponsive Wakefulness Syndrome, formerly referred to as ‘vegetative state’, are not given a correct description of the diagnosis when they are discharged from the hospital.

read more

Martinus van Marum prize call for proposals

14 November 2019

The Martinus van Marum prize is given to young researchers (<5 years after PhD) for the original research they have conducted in science and technology.

read more

1.5 million for research into young people with mild intellectual disabilities

13 November 2019

Researchers from the Radboud University and Radboudumc will partner with social organisations to map how often young people with mild intellectual disabilities have psychological problems and how they can be treated. The project was recently awarded a subsidy of 1.5 million euro by ZonMw.

read more

Bart van de Warrenburg appointed visiting professor at the UKM Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur

11 November 2019

Neurologist and Principal Investigator at the Donders Institute Bart van de Warrenburg has been appointed visiting professor at the UKM Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

read more

KNAW Van Leersum beurs for Mohammad Alsady

7 November 2019

Mohammad Alsady, theme Disorders of movement, received the “KNAW Van Leersum beurs”.

read more

3D breast ultrasound elastography to improve breast cancer detection

5 November 2019

One out of seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their life. Early detection of breast cancer is important to increase the survival rate. Gijs Hendriks graduated recently on a new technique, 3D elastography, to detect breast cancer better.

read more