Healthcare cost savings estimator tool for chronic disease self-management program: a new tool for program administrators and decision makers


Chronic disease self-management education (CDSME) programs have been delivered to more than 100,000 older Americans with chronic conditions. As one of the Stanford suite of evidence-based CDSME programs, the chronic disease self-management program (CDSMP) has been disseminated in diverse populations and settings. The objective of this paper is to introduce a practical, universally applicable tool to assist program administrators and decision makers plan implementation efforts and make the case for continued program delivery. This tool was developed utilizing data from a recent National Study of CDSMP to estimate national savings associated with program participation. Potential annual healthcare savings per CDSMP participant were calculated based on averted emergency room visits and hospitalizations. While national data can be utilized to estimate cost savings, the tool has built-in features allowing users to tailor calculations based on their site-specific data. Building upon the National Study of CDSMP's documented potential savings of $3.3 billion in healthcare costs by reaching 5% of adults with one or more chronic conditions, two heuristic case examples were also explored based on different population projections. The case examples show how a small county and large metropolitan city were not only able to estimate healthcare savings ($38,803 for the small county; $732,290 for the large metropolitan city) for their existing participant populations but also to project significant healthcare savings if they plan to reach higher proportions of middle-aged and older adults. Having a tool to demonstrate the monetary value of CDSMP can contribute to the ongoing dissemination and sustainability of such community-based interventions. Next steps will be creating a user-friendly, internet-based version of Healthcare Cost Savings Estimator Tool: CDSMP, followed by broadening the tool to consider cost savings for other evidence-based programs.

Publication Title

Frontiers in public health