Hospital admissions are the source of significant health care expenses, although a large proportion of these admissions can be avoided through proper management of chronic disease. In the present study, we evaluate the impact of a proactive chronic care management program for members of a German insurance society who suffer from chronic disease. Specifically, we tested the impact of nurse-delivered care calls on hospital admission rates. Study participants were insured individuals with coronary artery disease, heart failure, diabetes, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who consented to participate in the chronic care management program. Inter- vention (n 1⁄4 17,319) and Comparison (n 1⁄4 5668) groups were defined based on records of participating (or not participating) in telephonic interactions. Changes in admission rates were calculated from the year prior to (Base) and year after program commencement. Comparative analyses were adjusted for age, sex, region of residence, and disease severity (stratification of 3 [least severe] to 1 [most severe]). Overall, the admission rate in the Intervention group decreased by 6.2% compared with a 14.9% increase in the Comparison group (P < 0.001). The overall decrease in admissions for the Intervention group was driven by risk stratification levels 2 and 1, for which admissions decreased by 8.2% and 14.2% compared to Comparison group increases of 12.1% and 7.9%, respectively. Additionally, Intervention group admissions decreased as the number of calls increased (P 1⁄4 0.004), indicating a dose-response relationship. These findings indicate that proactive chronic care management care calls can help reduce hospital admissions among German health insurance members with chronic disease.
(Population Health Management 2010;13:339–345)