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For What Illnesses Is a Disease Management Program Most Effective?

Jutkowitz, Eric BA; Nyman, John A. PhD; Michaud, Tzeyu L. BA; Abraham, Jean M. PhD; Dowd, Bryan PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: February 2015 - Volume 57 - Issue 2 - p 117–123
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000385
Original Articles
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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.

Clinical Significance: This study suggests that the University of Minnesota's DM program reduces hospitalizations for individuals with asthma, cardiovascular disease, depression, musculoskeletal problems, low back pain, and migraines. The program also reduced avoidable hospitalizations for individuals with asthma, depression, and low back pain.

From the Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Address correspondence to: Eric Jutkowitz, BA, Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 15-219 Philips Wangensteen Building, 420 Delaware St SE, MMC 729 Minneapolis, MN 55455 (Jutko001@umn.edu).

This study was funded by Employee Benefits, Office of the Vice President for Human Resources, University of Minnesota.

Authors Jutkowitz, Nyman, Michaud, Abraham, and Dowd have no relationships/conditions/circumstances that present potential conflict of interest.

The JOEM editorial board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

This study is part of a series of analyses that were reviewed for human subjects content by the University of Minnesota's Institutional Review Board as application number 08805E32782 and found to be exempt from review under guidelines 45 CFR Part 46.101(b) category 4, EXISTING DATA; RECORDS REVIEW; PATHOLOGICAL SPECIMENS.

Copyright © 2015 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine