Learning Hub

June 15, 2018

Three Ways to Better Design & Implement a Disease Management Program

Disease management is a niche field in the large health care arena, with many providers offering limited, if any, disease management services to patients with chronic conditions like diabetes. However, given the facts that one in three Medicare dollars is spent on people with diabetes, and that more than 85% of the nation’s health care expenditure is dedicated to chronic and mental health conditions, it’s clear that disease management is more important than providers think.

Insurers are already beginning to see the value of managing chronic diseases in controlling overall costs and are placing more emphasis on disease management in their contracts. In order to best serve America’s large, growing population of patients with chronic diseases like diabetes -- as well as to best serve their businesses’ bottom lines -- providers should consider expanding their disease management services. Learn more about how your organization can better deliver on its disease management program.

  1. Scale up. Large disease management programs offer many advantages over small ones, mainly their ability to scale resources efficiently and gain insights from large pools of data. If you are a small physician’s office or health group that cannot implement a disease management program with at least 100 patients, it may be more worthwhile to partner with an organization like Boncura that offers case management services focused on a patient’s long-term care and well-being. That way, your organization can save resources and also provide the best care for your patients through efficient, data-based decisions.

 

  1. Consider your call center. Disease management programs rely heavily on call centers, so it’s imperative that you choose the right partner to handle this program component. Some disease management programs use offshore call centers to manage reminder and check-in calls for program participants. Although this option results in short-term savings due to lower labor costs, it comes with a certain amount of risk. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, cultural differences, lack of familiarity with a patient’s case, and distrust often result from health care call centers in remote locations -- all of which can bring down the success of a disease management program and increase costs. Additionally, the amount of time and money spent to manage data security with offshore call centers often outweighs the benefits of using them. For these reasons, many health care experts recommend keeping call centers within the US, where providers can rely on experienced nurse case managers who are familiar with the US health system and can communicate clearly with patients.

 

  1. Keep detailed records. A recent McKinsey study on successful disease management lists “information transparency” as one of the top five features of high-performing programs. By setting clear goals, implementing an intuitive technology system to record data, and regularly analyzing and updating information, your team can monitor progress and make necessary program changes. Systems like Epic, though costly, can provide long-term savings for your organization through streamlined and integrated capabilities. Consider partnering with an experienced health care IT provider to choose and implement the right technological tools for your team.

 

If you’d like to learn more about how your organization can implement or improve a disease management program, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our technology and administrative strategists can help you set up and refine your program, and our experienced health navigators can help make sure patients are given the best guidance on how to manage their conditions.

About Boncura Health Solutions
Since 2011, Boncura Health Solutions has remained a dynamic organization aimed at improving patient outcomes, efficiently managing at-risk populations to reduce unnecessary healthcare costs, delivering services in a cost-effective manner, and providing unique and convenient ways for patients, providers, and clients to access key support services. Founded by physicians, Boncura’s expertise allows hospitals and health systems, independent physician groups, and accountable care organizations to provide value-based care through efficient and intelligent administrative and clinical services. Today, Boncura serves more than 7,000 physician providers and partners, managing upwards of 450,000 lives, and processing more than eight million claims annually.

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