Date Published: August 18, 2020
Background: Though in-person delivery of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) has demonstrated medical cost savings, the economic impact of digital programs is not as well understood.
Objective: This study examines the impact of a digital DPP program on reducing all-cause health care costs and utilization among 2027 adult participants at 12 months.
Methods: A longitudinal, observational analysis of health care claims data was conducted on a workforce population who participated in a digital diabetes prevention program. Differences in utilization and costs from the year prior to program delivery through 1 year after enrollment were calculated using medical claims data for digital DPP participants compared to a propensity matched cohort in a differences-in-differences model.
Results: At 1 year, the digital DPP population had a reduction in all-cause health care spend of US$1169 per participant relative to the comparison group (P = 0.01), with US$699 of that savings coming from reduced inpatient spend (P = 0.001). Cost savings were driven by fewer hospital admissions and shorter length of stay (P < 0.001). No other significant results in cost differences were detected. There was a trend toward savings extending into the second year, but the savings did not reach statistical significance.
Conclusions: These results demonstrated significant short-term health care cost savings at 1 year associated with digital DPP program delivery.