Association of care management intensity with healthcare utilization in an all-condition care management program

Am J Manag Care

Objectives: To identify care needs among Medicaid and Medicare patients in an all-condition care management program involving case managers (CMs) and community health workers (CHWs), and to examine the relationship between intervention intensity and healthcare utilization. Study Design: Retrospective longitudinal evaluation of managed care-hired CMs and CHWs based at 8 primary care sites participating in the Johns Hopkins Community Health Partnership (J-CHiP). Methods: Patients at high risk for hospitalization were enrolled in J-CHiP. CMs provided care coordination and CHWs addressed barriers to care. Four program intensity categories were created: low CM-low CHW, low CM-high CHW, high CM-low CHW, and high CM-high CHW. We evaluated the adjusted relative risk (RR) of emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and 30-day hospital readmissions pre- and post enrollment in the program using CM documentation, electronic health record data, and insurance claims. Results: Among 1408 Medicaid and 2196 Medicare patients, the predominant barriers to care were lack of transportation, unstable housing, medication payment, and healthy food access. Among Medicaid and Medicare patients, high CM-high CHW and high CM-low CHW intensities were associated with a higher adjusted risk of hospitalization and 30-day hospital readmission after program implementation compared with low CM-low CHW intensity. Among patients with low CM-high CHW intensity, Medicaid patients had a higher risk of readmission (RR, 1.47; P = .016) and Medicare patients had a higher risk of ED visit (RR, 1.33; P = .001) post program implementation. Conclusions: In this longitudinal evaluation of an all-condition, unstructured, managed care organization-led program, preprogram trajectories of healthcare utilization rates among patients increased rather than decreased after program implementation, especially among patients receiving the highest care management program intensity.

Lalani HS, Ephraim PL, Apfel A, et al. Association of care management intensity with healthcare utilization in an all-condition care management program. Am J Manag Care. 2019;25(12):e395-e402.PMID: 31860234

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