Economic Outcomes Of Insurer-Led Care Management For High-Cost Medicaid Patients

Abstract [from journal]

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of the Community-Based Care Management (CBCM) program on total costs of care and utilization among adult high-need, high-cost patients enrolled in a Medicaid managed care organization (MCO). CBCM was a Medicaid insurer-led care coordination and disease management program staffed by nurse care managers paired with community health workers.

Study design: Retrospective cohort analysis.

Methods: We obtained deidentified health plan claims data, enrollment information, and the MCO's monthly registry of the top 10% of costliest patients. The analysis included 896 patients enrolled in CBCM over the course of 2 years (January 2016 to December 2017) and a propensity score-matched cohort of high-cost patients (n = 2152) who received primary care at sites that did not participate in CBCM during the same time period. The primary outcomes were total costs of care and utilization in the 12-month period after enrollment. Secondary outcomes included utilization by care setting: outpatient, inpatient, emergency department, pharmacy, postacute care, and all other remaining sites. We used zero-inflated gamma and Poisson regression models to estimate average differences in postperiod costs and utilization between CBCM enrollees versus non-CBCM enrollees.

Results: We did not observe meaningful differences in total costs or visit frequency among CBCM enrollees relative to non-CBCM enrollees.

Conclusions: Although our study found no association between the CBCM program and subsequent cost or utilization outcomes, understanding why these outcomes were not achieved will inform how future Medicaid programs are designed to achieve better patient outcomes and lower costs.