New Report on Disease Management Benefits

Ben Geisler, MD, of our class, notes that there is a new review published by Health Management Associates of disease management programs.  The review concludes that these programs can be cost-saving, and are most likely to be so if the population is carefully targeted, the intervention highly individualized, and repeated often.   One problem with meta-analyses is that they rely on studies that are published, and there is a strong publication bias for positive studies.  Also, early disease management literature includes many "pre-post" studies (comparing results in the same population before and after intervention).  These tend to be contaminated with regression to the mean. 

Ben also notes that review work done at the Institute for Technology Assessment at MGH, which he has participated in, has more circumspect conclusions.  Here are Harvard U links for this research (1)  (2),   and for non-Harvard blog readers, here are generic pubmed links (1a) (2a) . This works make the important distinction between cost-effective (will cost more in the health care system, and worth it) and cost-saving (value created for a lower price).