Many health plans and providers rely on return on investment (ROI) to determine the value of a disease management programme. ROI, however, is not the most meaningful measure of the true value of a programme. Depending on the methods used to calculate costs and determine the size of the population, ROI can easily be misrepresented. Instead, plans should use an absolute savings approach both in evaluating different programme options and in determining programme success. Absolute savings are the true population-based savings that are received from a disease management programme. In short, it is the actual dollar amount that is taken to the bank. All healthcare costs for all members of the population with the specific disease are included in the calculation. These costs are then adjusted for economic events occurring during the measurement period. This approach allows for a more accurate assessment of the true savings impact of a programme.
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