Disease Management: A Leap of Faith to Lower-Cost,Higher-Quality Health Care

Publication Date: October 2003

Publisher: Center for Studying Health System Change

Author(s): Ashley C. Short; Glen P. Mays; Jessica Mittler

Research Area: Health

Type: Brief


With managed care's promise to reduce costs and improve quality waning, employers and health plans are exploring more targeted ways to control rapidly rising health costs. Disease management programs, which focus on patients with chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes, are growing in popularity, according to findings from the Center for Studying Health System Change's (HSC) 2002-03 site visits to 12 nationally representative communities. In addition to condition-based disease management programs, some health plans and employers are using intensive case management services to coordinate care for high-risk patients with potentially costly and complex medical conditions. Despite high expectations, evidence of both disease management and case management programs' success in controlling costs and improving quality remains limited.