A government think tank is questioning whether programs that try to improve care for patients with diabetes and other chronic conditions have shown that they can pay for themselves.[@@]
The Congressional Budget Office, an arm of Congress, studied the issue for Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, and other members of the House and Senate budget committees.
Nickles had asked the CBO what the programs could do to cut costs for Medicare beneficiaries and other patients.
Many employers, health insurers and benefits consultants are counting on expanded disease management programs to help control the United States’ skyrocketing medical costs.
“It is important to note that such programs could be worthwhile even if they did not reduce costs,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the CBO director, writes in a letter to Nickles.
For now, though, Holtz-Eakin writes, “there is insufficient evidence to conclude that disease management programs can generally reduce overall spending.”