Population-based medical and disease management: an evaluation of cost and quality

Reports by the Institute of Medicine and the Health Care Financing Administration have emphasized that the integration of medical care delivery, evidence-based medicine, and chronic care disease management may play a significant role in improving the quality of care and reducing medical care costs. The specific aim of this project is to assess the impact of an integrated set of care coordination tools and chronic disease management interventions on utilization, cost, and quality of care for a population of beneficiaries who have complementary health coverage through a plan designed to apply proactive medical and disease management processes. The utilization of health care services by the study population was compared to another population from the same geographic service area and covered by a traditional feefor- service indemnity insurance plan that provided few medical or disease management services. Evaluation of the difference in utilization was based on the difference in the cost permember- per-month (PMPM) in a 1-year measurement period, after adjusting for differences in fee schedules, case-mix and healthcare benefit design. After adjustments for both case-mix and benefit differences, the study group is $63 PMPM less costly than the comparison population for all members. Cost differences are largest in the 55-64 and 65 and above age groups. The study group is $115 PMPM lower than the comparison population for the age category of 65 years and older, after adjustments for case-mix and benefits. Health Plan Employer and Data Information Set (HEDIS)-based quality outcomes are near the 90th percentile for most indications. The cost outcomes of a population served by proactive, population-based disease management and complex care management, compared to an unmanaged population, demonstrates the potential of coordinated medical and disease management programs. Further studies utilizing appropriate methodologies would be beneficial. (Disease Management 2006;9:44-55).