Impact of a Complex Care Management Model on Cost and Utilization Among Adolescents and Young Adults with Special Care and Health Needs

Popul Health Manag. 2017 Dec;20(6):435-441. doi: 10.1089/pop.2016.0167. Epub 2017 Mar 24.


Adolescents and young adults with special care and health needs in the United States-many of whom have Medicaid coverage-at the transition phase between pediatric and adult care often experience critical care gaps. To address this challenge, a new model-referred to as Comprehensive Care Clinic (CCC)-has been developed and implemented by Geisinger Health System since 2012. CCC comprises a care team, consisting of a generalist physician, advanced practitioner, pharmacist, and a nurse case manager, that develops and closely follows a coordinated care plan. This study examines the CCC impact on total cost of care and utilization by analyzing Geisinger Health Plan claims data obtained from 83 Medicaid patients enrolled in CCC. A set of multivariate regression models with patient fixed effects was estimated to obtain adjusted differences in cost and acute care utilization between the months in which the patients were enrolled and the months not enrolled in CCC. The results indicate that CCC enrollment was associated with a 28% reduction in per-member-per-month total cost ($3931 observed vs. $5451 expected; P = 0.028), driven by reductions in hospitalization and emergency department visits. This finding suggests a clinical redesign focused on adolescent and young adults with complex care needs can potentially reduce total cost and acute care utilization among such patients.

Keywords: adolescents; care delivery; care management; complex conditions; cost of care.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autistic Disorder / economics
  • Autistic Disorder / therapy
  • Comprehensive Health Care / economics*
  • Critical Care / economics
  • Critical Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Delivery of Health Care / economics*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Medicaid
  • Spinal Dysraphism / economics
  • Spinal Dysraphism / therapy
  • United States
  • Young Adult