Disease Management

Disease management pertains to the concept of assisting in healthcare expenditures and augmenting the quality of life through prevention and health maintenance. Disease management is associated with a commitment to provide guidance, information, advocacy and service to its members in order for them to feel a positive change. An ideal health care model aims to improve the quality and efficiency of health care assistance, to increase the accessibility to health care services for various populations, to increase price and quality transparency and to ascertain accountability for all services received.
In order to achieve these goals, certain disease management programs have linked with Aetna and United Healthcare, which improves both benefits and the marketing of health insurance industry. One policy of disease management involves the improvement of the quality and efficiency of health care for its members (Barry and Basler, 2007). This policy feature is associated with routine measurement of the performance of its plans. It also encourages highly efficient health care options to its members, as well as the application of information technologies in keeping and maintaining patient health records.
The use of prescribing medications electronically is also presented, which helps in keeping the patients safe from errors of drug consumption, as well as duplication of services, which are deemed to be wasteful in terms of money, time and effort. Such improvement may also advance the mode of access for health test results and other information. Another policy being promoted by disease management programs involve the availability of health care services to varied populations at reasonable prices.

Such feature concentrates on outreach programs that provide materials and services to different communities using other languages that are applicable to specific ethnic groups. This element may be a valuable feature in interacting with its members, so that the patients may freely express their needs and concerns regarding health care and its associated services. It is also very useful in making its non-English speaking members to understand what has been assessed or what is needed in order to help them in their health maintenance, including chronic care and disease management.
The use of the multi-language approach also prevents miscommunications and misunderstandings between the program and its members. The benefits of such effort will include a greater chance for its members to understand any information that is provided to them, including the quality, effectivity and costs of the health care services. It also allows the members to make their own decisions about their own health care plans because they are empowered to interact and ask questions about aspects that concern their health.
A disease management program also includes the regular monitoring and assessment of its health plan and its subsequent dissemination of information to its members (Gearon, 2006). Such feature is valuable in terms of its goal in continuously improving the health care performance and efficiency of its plans. And it is also known that the most reliable way of improving any health care plan is by gathering the comments and suggestions of the end-users, which are actually the members itself, who directly apply such health care plans to their daily lives.
A disease management program appraises its healthcare policy and features every year. Such comprehensive review of the policy often times lead to points of improvement. These are then actively considered an incorporated into the working health policy and its members are likewise advised of the new changes. Any other comments or suggestions are freely expressed by its members, and the program at the same time welcomes such constructive criticisms. Healthcare marketing is a phenomenon that actively promotes features of healthcare industry.
A successful healthcare marketing process follows the three major concepts framework, view point and definition. Healthcare marketing has dramatically changed over the last decade, mainly due to reforms initiated by the government (Barry and Basler, 2007). One prime modification in the healthcare market is the incorporation of Medicare, which works as a form of reimbursement for healthcare institutions. A few decades ago, healthcare investigators attempted to establish the relationship between healthcare practitioners and patients.
One of the observations they observed was that patients often had only a few choices in terms of healthcare providers hence they have no resort but to maintain a relationship with a particular doctor amidst substandard patient care delivery. Another observation the investigators observed was the patients tend to screen or try out different physicians and just pick out which physician works best with their own personal preference. In addition, other individuals would also screen different hospitals and then later decide which hospital serves them best in terms of their hospital needs.
Barry P and Basler B (2007):  Healing our system.  AARP Bulletin, March, 2007.  Retrieved on July 25, 2007 from http://www.aarp.org/bulletin/yourlife/healingoursystem.html
Gearon C (2006):  State-by-State List of HMO report cards online.  AARP Bulletin, January 2006.  Retrieved on July 25, 2007 from http://www.aarp.org/bulletin/yourhealth/a2003-08-07-hmoreport.html

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