Diabetes mellitus places a significant burden on the U.S. healthcare system. Because of the potential to reduce diabetic complications and costs through intensive management, diabetes has become a primary target for disease management programs. We performed a retrospective analysis of short-term baseline and follow-up clinical, economic, and member and provider satisfaction data from approximately 7,000 people with diabetes being treated through seven managed care plans using Diabetes Treatment Centers of America’s Diabetes NetCareSM, (Nashville, TN), a comprehensive diabetes management program. Our analysis indicates that Diabetes Net- CareSM achieved gross economic adjusted savings of $50 per diabetic member per month (12.3%), with gross unadjusted savings of $44 (10.9%) per diabetic member per month. Hospital admissions per 1,000 diabetic member years decreased by 18%, and bed days fell by 21%. Patients with diabetes were more likely to get HbA1c tests, foot exams, eye exams, and cholesterol screenings while enrolled in the program. These data suggest that implementation of a comprehensive healthcare management program for people with diabetes can lead to substantial improvements in costs and clinical outcomes in the short term. It is expected that improvements will increase over time, with continuing improvements in health status and a reduction in the number of future diabetic complications.
(J Clin Endocrinol Metab 83: 2635–2642, 1998)