The McKinsey Quarterly recently did its usual fine job, explaining in detail how other countries are running effective disease management programs. McKinsey says a successful disease management program has these common denominators: many participants; simple rules to follow; is patient-focused; has clearly defined measures; and aligned incentives. Sounds doable, right?
And then it got to the kicker.
“Any group thinking of sponsoring a disease management program must also realize that a large program takes years, not months, to get completely off the ground. It took Germany more than six years to fully implement its program for type 2 diabetes.”
Kind of dooms the notion of a successful disease management program happening in this country. Americans are not exactly the most patient of people.
Need proof? In a survey published Jan. 21, 2009, 79% of Americans were “optimistic” about this country’s future under the leadership of its new president, Barack Obama. By July 30, 53% said they didn’t like how Mr. Obama was handling the economy. Four months later, his job approval rating had fallen below 50%.
If we’d gain a little patience and let providers develop some effective disease management programs, can you imagine what the savings to lives and the bottom line would be? Isn’t that worth a little patience?
Maybe if we thought of a disease management program as a bottle of fine wine, aging to a perfect maturity....