Market competition and price of disease management programmes: An observational study

Christel E. van Dijk, Bob Venema, Judith D. de Jong, Dinny H. de Bakker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Managed competition was introduced into the health care system in several countries including the Netherlands, although effects of competition of both providers and health insurers on the price of health care are inconclusive. We investigated the association between competition of both providers (care groups) and health insurers and the price of disease management programmes (DMPs).
Data from 76 DMP contractual agreements for type II diabetes mellitus in 2008, 2009 and 2010 were used to analyse the association between market competition and the price of DMPs. Market competition was calculated per municipal health services region (GGD). Insurer market competition was measured by the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI), care group competition by the number of care groups and the care group market share of GPs. The effect of competition was cross-sectionally studied with linear regression analyses.
Insurer market concentration (HHI) and care group market share were not associated with the price of DMPs. The number of care groups in a GGD region was associated with a lower price (-€4.68; 95% CI: -8.36 - -1.00). The mean difference in the price of DMPs between health insurers was €58.
The price of DMPs seems to be more dependent on the particular health insurer than on market conditions. For competition among health insurers and provider groups to develop, preconditions such as selective contracting and option for patient to change provider should be in place.
Keywords: Managed competition, Disease management programmes, Price, Netherlands, Health insurance
Original languageEnglish
Article number510
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Managed competition
  • Disease management programmes
  • Price
  • Netherlands
  • Health insurance


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