CA case mgmt program cuts ED visits 30%

While it hasn't always been the case in the past, it appears that a patient-oriented case management program has been demonstrated to show some concrete benefits this time around. According to a new study published in The American Journal of Managed Care, a case management program focused on late-stage, largely cancer-diagnosed patients was able to cut emergency visits 30 percent, hospital admissions 38 percent and cut costs by more than $18,000 per patient. The study, which followed 756 late-stage patients, analyzed the impact of a program assigning highly-trained nurses to provide education, care coordination, pain management and end-of-life management to each of these patients, individually, coaching them through various care choices as they lived out their illness. Not only did this approach save money, as cancer patients in the group often opted against further chemotherapy or radiation treatment, it also led to a decrease in complications such as nausea and anemia and a 22 percent increase in home care. On top of all of this, 92 percent of patients in the program reported high satisfaction rates, the study found. (Nonetheless, it would be comforting to know how patients chose to discontinue cancer therapies, and have a rock-solid feeling that they weren't pressured to do the less-expensive thing.)

To get more information on the study:
- read this Blue Shield press release