Snapshot: Living with Chronic Illness: Californians' Perspectives on Cost and Coordination of Care
About 40% of adult Californians live with at least one chronic medical condition. Chronic conditions present a host of challenges to individuals in their daily lives, such as coping with drug interactions and side effects, making difficult lifestyle changes, seeing the doctor (usually more than one) more often, and facing frequent urgent medical care episodes. But when coupled with the reality of navigating an increasingly complex and costly health care system, these challenges become even more daunting.
Disease Management Programs that Focus on Needs of Chronically Ill Patients Can Provide Positive, Cost-Effective Results
Comprehensive patient care management techniques that include patient education, provider and care coordination and professional support can sharply reduce utilization, including hospital days and emergency room visits, and lower overall costs compared to typical care management programs. A study of Blue Shield of California HMO members published in The American Journal of Managed Care last year quantified actual cost reductions for patients with illnesses, such as late-state cancers or degenerative neurological conditions, who participated in this type of expanded care management program.