Currently, the most widely used method in the disease management (DM) industry for evaluating program effectiveness is referred to as the total population approach. This model is a pretest-posttest design, with the most basic limitation being that without a control group, there may be sources of bias and/or competing extraneous confounding factors that offer a plausible rationale explaining the change from baseline. Furthermore, with the current inclination of DM programs to use financial indicators rather than program-specific utilization indicators as the principal measure of program success, additional biases are introduced that may cloud evaluation results. This paper presents a non-technical introduction to time-series analysis (using disease-specific utilization measures) as an alternative, and more appropriate, approach to evaluating DM program effectiveness than the current total population approach
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