Medica's "Care Advisor" Model Costs HMO Less, Gets Higher Patient Satisfaction

Evaluation of using care advisers for chronically ill older HMO enrollee

    • December 1, 2003

From 1996 to 2002, researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical School compared the effects on patients and a health plan of using a "care advisor" who coordinated services for senior members of a health plan to those of the plan's regular "gatekeeper" model.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Chronic Care Initiatives in HMOs national program.

Key Findings

  • The care advisory group had slightly lower total costs than the regular "gatekeeper" group, primarily due to fewer physician visits.

  • Satisfaction scores were significantly higher in the care advisory group than in the regular "gatekeeper" group.