Impact of disease management on health care utilization: evidence from the "Florida: A Healthy State (FAHS)" Medicaid Program.Prev Med. 2007 Jun; 44(6):547-53.PM
To examine the impact of disease management on utilization of selected health care services.
Prospective observational population-based study comparing Florida Medicaid patients who elected to participate in disease management (DM, N=15,275) with a usual-care (UC, N=32,034) group who elected not to participate in the program. Patients had at least one of four chronic diseases (diabetes, asthma, congestive heart failure, and hypertension) and all received standard health care. DM participants received supplementary telephone health counseling by a managed care specialist. The data for this paper were collected between October 2001 and October 2004.
Annual rates of inpatient hospital stays, inpatient days, emergency room (ER) visits, and outpatient (OP) visits, during and post intervention, were used as outcomes. Age, race, gender, comorbidities, severity indicators, geographic location and pre-intervention utilization were used as covariates. Compared to UC patients, DM patients had lower adjusted post intervention annualized rates of hospitalizations ranging from 0.07 to 0.38 stays, lower rates of hospital days ranging from 0.40 to 2.54 days, and lower rates of ER visits ranging from 0.10 to 0.91 visits per DM enrollee in all four chronic conditions. Most results were statistically significant at the 5% level, except for hypertension patients, where they were suggestive, though not significant.
Disease management is effective in reducing potentially avoidable inpatient hospital stays and ER visits among patients with chronic illness.