Analysis of a disease management approach to diabetes in a large Pennsylvania health plan has shown that such an approach improves outcomes for its participants and saves the health plan money.
The study involved 6,799 patients with diabetes; 3,118 were enrolled in a disease management program while 3,681 were not. Over a two-year period, those in the disease management program used less inpatient health care, with fewer ER visits; they had more primary care visits.
The program participants received more of the recommended tests (HbA1c, and lipid, eye and kidney screening). HbA1c levels were significantly better in the program patients: only 6.7 percent of them measured over 9.5, while 14.1 percent of those not in the disease management program had HbA1c levels over 9.5.
Ask your healthcare provider or health plan whether there is a diabetes disease management program available to you.
Source: Sidorov J, Shull R, Tomcavage J, et al. Does diabetes disease management save money and improve outcomes? Diabetes Care, April 2002;25:684-689. (Abs.)