MANAGED CARE April 1998. ©1998 Stezzi Communications
Is there a concept in health care that has taken root and blossomed so fast as disease management? One that has captured the imagination and attention of the employers who pay for most of the nation's health care? Data collected last year by the National Managed Health Care Congress and Migliara/Kaplan Associates indicate that employers are aware of the possibilities that disease management offers, and are highly interested in participating, although there may be a slight lessening of interest compared with 1996. The mean of responses to the question, "How important is disease management on a disease-specific basis?" (scale 1—5) was 4.2 in 1996 and 4.0 last year, below pharmacy benefit (4.3) and drug/mental health care (4.2). Still, employers are busy contracting with vendors and health plans, and even growing their own programs. The full report, the 2nd Annual Disease Management Strategic Research Study and Resource Guide, will be published this month by the Disease Management Society and its parent organization, NMHCC, both of Waltham, Mass., (781) 663-6554.