USF associate professor investigates link between quality and cost of health care for diabetic patients

Dr. Troy Quast suggests opportunities exist for improving quality of care with minimal effects on cost

Tampa, FL (June 30, 2015) – Are higher costs in health care for diabetes patients always associated with higher quality goods and services?  Not necessarily, writes Troy Quast, PhD, in the June issue of  The American Journal of Managed Care.

The publication, “Quality of Care and Relative Resource Use for Patients With Diabetes,” investigates the relationship between the quality of care and relative resource use of health plans in treating enrollees with diabetes, one of the most prevalent conditions in the United States.

“I find that better outcomes are, in fact, not always associated with higher costs, but that this association varies by the type of health insurance plan and geographic region,” said Quast, who this July will  join the University of South Florida College of Public Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management.

USF_Troy Quast

Troy Quast, PhD

Quast’s study consisted of 813 observations from a sample of 407 commercial health plans submitted to The National Committee for Quality Assurance from 2009 to 2011.

The study estimated correlations between quality of care and various relative resource use measures, as well as year-to-year changes in quality and relative resource use.

The findings suggest that quality and relative resource use are not necessarily positively related and that some resources might not be used efficiently. Furthermore, the study’s findings provide insight into the geographic variation in health care utilization.

An associate professor with research interests in health economics, Quast said that he’s very interested in looking into ways to obtain better outcomes for patients without incurring higher costs.

“My hope is that my study provides insight into contexts where this may be possible,” he said.

-USF College of Public Health-

Established in 1984 as the first college of public health in the State of Florida, the USF College of Public Health is a recognized leader in community health, online education, maternal and child health, social marketing, and global infectious disease research. The college offers multiple online and on-campus concentrations that lead to MHA, MPH, MSPH, DrPH, and PhD degrees, as well several dual degrees, graduate certificates, and special programs.  To learn more about the college and its 1600 students who commit to passionately solve problems and create conditions that allow every person the universal right to health and well-being, visit www.publichealth.usf.edu.

-USF Health-

USF Health’s mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences; and the USF Physician’s Group. The University of South Florida is a global research university ranked 50th in the nation by the National Science Foundation for both federal and total research expenditures among all U.S. universities. For more information, visit www.health.usf.edu.

Media contact:
Natalie D. Preston, USF College of Public Health, npreston@health.usf.edu

Written by Annamarie Koehler-Shepley, USF College of Public Health