For What Illnesses Is a Disease Management Program Most Effective?

Objective: We examined the impact of a disease management (DM) program offered at the University of Minnesota for those with various chronic diseases.
Methods: Differences-in-differences regression equations were estimated to determine the effect of DM participation by chronic condition on expenditures, absenteeism, hospitalizations, and avoidable hospitalizations.
Results: Disease management reduced health care expenditures for individuals with asthma, cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure, depression, musculoskeletal problems, low back pain, and migraines. Disease management reduced hospitalizations for those same conditions except for congestive heart failure and reduced avoidable hospitalizations for individuals with asthma, depression, and low back pain. Disease management did not have any effect for individuals with diabetes, arthritis, or osteoporosis, nor did DM have any effect on absenteeism.
Conclusions: Employers should focus on those conditions that generate savings when purchasing DM programs.

Source: Jutkowitz, Eric; Nyman, John A.; Michaud, Tzeyu L.; Abraham, Jean M.; Dowd, Bryan. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: February 2015, Volume 57, Issue 2, p. 117–123.

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