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A Care Coordination Intervention Improves Symptoms But Not Charges in High-Risk Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Berinstein JA, Cohen-Mekelburg SA, Greenberg GM, Wray D, Berry SK, Saini SD, Fendrick AM, Adams MA, Waljee AK, Higgins PDR. A Care Coordination Intervention Improves Symptoms But Not Charges in High-Risk Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology : the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. 2022 May 1; 20(5):1029-1038.e9.

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BACKGROUND: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with substantial symptom burden, variability in clinical outcomes, and high direct costs. We sought to determine if a care coordination-based strategy was effective at improving patient symptom burden and reducing healthcare costs for patients with IBD in the top quintile of predicted healthcare utilization and costs. METHODS: We performed a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of a patient-tailored multicomponent care coordination intervention composed of proactive symptom monitoring and care coordinator-triggered algorithms. Enrolled patients with IBD were randomized to usual care or to our care coordination intervention over a 9-month period (April 2019 to January 2020). Primary outcomes included change in patient symptom scores throughout the intervention and IBD-related charges at 12 months. RESULTS: Eligible IBD patients in the top quintile for predicted healthcare utilization and expenditures were identified. A total of 205 patients were enrolled and randomized to our intervention (n  = 100) or to usual care (n  = 105). Patients in the care coordinator arm demonstrated an improvement in symptoms scores compared with usual care (coefficient, -0.68, 95% confidence interval, -1.18 to -0.18; P  = .008) without a significant difference in median annual IBD-related healthcare charges ($10,094 vs $9080; P  = .322). CONCLUSIONS: In this first randomized controlled trial of a patient-tailored care coordination intervention, composed of proactive symptom monitoring and care coordinator-triggered algorithms, we observed an improvement in patient symptom scores but not in healthcare charges. Care coordination programs may represent an effective value-based approach to improve symptoms scores without added direct costs in a subgroup of high-risk patients with IBD. (, Number: NCT04796571).

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