Objective: To assess the effect of TRICARE's asthma, congestive heart failure, and diabetes disease management programs using a scorecard approach.
Evaluation Measures: Patient healthcare utilization, financial, clinical, and humanistic outcomes. Absolute measures were translated into effect size and incorporated into a scorecard.
Research Design: Actual outcomes for program participants were compared with outcomes predicted in the absence of disease management. The predictive equations were established from regression models based on historical control groups (n = 39,217). Z scores were calculated for the humanistic measures obtained through a mailed survey.
Data Collection Methods: Administrative records containing medical claims, patient demographics and characteristics, and program participation status were linked using an encrypted patient identifier (n = 57,489). The study time frame is 1 year prior to program inception through 2 years afterward (October 2005–September 2008). A historical control group was identified with the baseline year starting October 2003 and a 1-year follow-up period starting October 2004. A survey was administered to a subset of participants 6 months after baseline assessment (39% response rate).
Results: Within the observation window—24 months for asthma and congestive heart failure, and 15 months for the diabetes program—we observed modest reductions in hospital days and healthcare cost for all 3 programs and reductions in emergency visits for 2 programs. Most clinical outcomes moved in the direction anticipated.
Conclusions: The scorecard provided a useful tool to track performance of 3 regional contractors for each of 3 diseases and over time.