Disease Management (DM) is a collective effort spearheaded by the healthcare industry to assist those who are at high risk of developing chronic ailments over time. The primary goal is to anchor the healthcare costs that are shooting through the roof as of late. Read on to learn more about the concept of DM and how paying attention to just five aspects can help you roll out a successful DM plan at your facility.
When people are young and healthy, the notion of growing old and being sick all the time barely ever crosses their mind. You live life in a state of merry abandon and often tend to overlook unhealthy habits that may have long-term effects on your well-being. This neglect and disregard to your health early in life make you susceptible to chronic conditions that not only rob you of your ability to enjoy life later but also burn a hole in your pockets as you grapple with the increased need for hospital visits and medications. On the other hand, an immense amount of strain is also endured by health systems across the country due to a steady increase in the number of people with lifelong illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, and depression. It is due to these reasons that the healthcare industry has devised Disease Management as a strategy.
The mainstay of DM as a concept is the focus on a group of patients who share the same disease and, therefore, receive information about interventions that can help them avoid expensive hospital visits and medications. Some examples of expertly executed DM programs include the Type 2 diabetes program rolled out by Germany  that has over 3 million enrollees as of today. In the Netherlands, a regional DM initiative to control the rate of asthma and COPD cases has produced good results as well.
If you are planning to roll out a DM program, here are some tips that will help you ensure a successful run:
Keep It Simple – Making sure that aspects like the enrolment process and the criteria for selection of patients are both simple will help in avoiding too many administrative hiccups. Adopting uncomplicated care protocols is another way to ensure that the program is not too difficult for patients to follow, leading to a higher degree of involvement.
Be Unambiguous – Monitoring the results of the program at regular intervals and consistently sharing both positive and negative ones with all stakeholders is a great way to develop the faith that is required to sustain a DM plan. A high level of transparency is very useful in keeping everyone optimally engaged.
Incentivize the Program – By attaching attractive incentives to a DM plan, you can improve the participation rate for both patients and physicians. For instance, many corporate entities run annual fitness challenges wherein there are gifts to be won at each level like 20,000 steps can get you a 20 dollar gift card to your favorite coffee place or 100,000 steps can get you a smartwatch. Physicians can benefit from the advanced training that most DM programs entail as well as additional reimbursements for the extra time spent on documentation.
Keep The Patient At The Center – The patient group that you are targeting should always be at the hub of all your DM planning. Tailor the health coaching sessions around the needs of your focus group. You can even interview a sample group of patients to get a flavor of what the group is looking for and then use this information to draw the format of your program.
Read more: The 5 Principles Of Care Management
If you are looking for an excellent third-party administrator that can help you design an excellent DM program, then there cannot be a better one than Mirra Health Care. Mirra is set up by a group of experienced physicians who understand the subtler points that form the basis of any DM roll-out. Having Mirra on-board will give you the confidence you need to run large-scale interventions successfully. Mirra brings you qualified and trained experts who have the requisite knowledge to build a sound DM strategy with you.