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.