After Hospital Discharge, Does Intensive Case Management Make a Difference?

Evaluation of the case management program for high-risk elderly

From 1996 to 1998, researchers at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center examined the effects of five HMO case management programs on patients' compliance with discharge services and use of acute care services.

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

Key Findings

  • The research team did not find an association either between the intensity of the case management services and patients' adherence to their discharge plans or to patients' utilization of inpatient or primary care.

  • Two findings suggested that the background of the case manager influenced the nature of follow-up care after hospitalization:

    • When social workers provided case management, home health care was the primary means of follow-up care.
    • When nurse case managers provided the case management, more primary care follow-up was provided.