Birmingham OwnHealth Take II – take your pick

You wait for a cohort study to come along for ages, then suddenly two come along within a week of each other…of the same intervention, although with apparently different conclusions. The second paper, entitled “Analysis of the Impact of the Birmingham OwnHealth Program on Secondary Care Utilization and Cost: A Retrospective Cohort Study”, is published online in the Journal of Telemedicine and e-Health, ahead of print, with lead author Liv Solvår Nymark.  (Our post on the previously-reviewed paper, whose lead author was Adam Steventon is here).

The Steventon paper found that the OwnHealth intervention “did not lead to the expected reductions in hospital admissions or secondary care costs over 12 months, and could have led to increases” whereas the Nymark paper “found difference in costs constituted (more…)

Analysis of the Birmingham OwnHealth service – not the bad news it seems?

The BMJ has just published an open access paper entitled “Effect of telephone health coaching (Birmingham OwnHealth) on hospital use and associated costs: cohort study with matched controls” (BMJ2013;347:f4585, Steventon et Al).  It reaches the rather depressing headline conclusion that telephone coaching did not reduce unplanned hospitalisations and if anything increased them.

This looks to fly in the face of the apparently less academically rigorous recent claims by the Leicester City CCG and Totally Health, that they reduced hospitalisations significantly, saving some £353,000 over a 30 week period with a cohort of between 47 & 50 patients that we reported recently.

However reading on, perhaps a key passage, in the conclusion, is (more…)