Actuaries Unsure About Effects Of Disease Management
Although disease management programs promote healthier lives, their impact on health care costs remains difficult to quantify.[@@]
Researchers at the American Academy of Actuaries, Washington, draw that conclusion in a new report on the programs.
Employers and insurers are hoping disease management programs can improve the treatment of major chronic diseases while reducing the cost of medical care.
“However, there is often a gap between the favorable clinical results and a clearly identifiable financial impact,” the actuaries write in the disease management report. “Many disciplines, including the actuarial profession, are approaching consensus on how to address the many complex analytical issues inherent in assessing the financial impact of these programs.”
Too often, analysts looking at the cost savings of disease management programs take too narrow a focus on health insurance claims costs, according to the report authors.