Disease management is an approach to healthcare that teaches patients how to manage a chronic disease. Patients learn to take responsibility for understanding how to take care of themselves to avoid potential problems or exacerbation, or worsening, of their health problem.
The concept of teaching patients disease management was begun in an effort to improve the quality of a patient's care. In 2005, health insurance companies turned their focus on disease management in an effort to control healthcare costs. The theory was that if patients learned to take better care of their health problems, it would save the insurance company money.
In late 2007, the first reports on cost control through disease management were reported showing that costs were not being controlled.