The Issue

The Chronic Care Model (CCM) was developed in the late 1990s with a dual purpose in mind: to improve the quality of care for patients with chronic disease and to reduce treatment costs. The model’s key elements include providers working together in teams, a strong emphasis on communication and goal-setting, and the participation of patients in their care. Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers evaluated the impact of two CCM programs for diabetes patients in Germany and the United States.


What the Study Found

The study focused on Geisinger Health Systems, a fully integrated health care system in Pennsylvania, and Barmer, a German “sickness fund” that provides medical insurance nationwide. Under the Geisinger ProvenCare Chronic Diabetes Program, patients receive a comprehensive bundle of services from a physician-directed team that features prominent roles for both the patient and his or her family. In the Barmer program, general practitioners act as coordinators of care, enroll patients in disease management programs, and organize follow-up care and patient education.

According to patient experience survey data, enrollees in both programs received higher-quality care that was more patient-centered and collaborative in nature compared to patients within these same systems who received routine diabetes treatment.


Conclusions

The Chronic Care Model can deliver superior care, with more satisfied patients, “regardless of the setting or distinct characteristics of the program,” the authors write.