BACKGROUND: The care of patients with complex illnesses requires careful management, but systems of care management (CM) vary in their structure and effectiveness. OBJECTIVE: To create a framework identifying components of broad-based CM interventions and validate the framework, including using this framework to evaluate the contribution of varying components on outcomes of patients with chronic illness. DESIGN: We create the framework using retrospective information about CM activities and services over 12 months and categorize it using cluster and factor analysis. We then validate this framework through content and criterion techniques. Content validity is assessed through a Delphi study and criterion validity through relationship of the dosage measures and patterns of care to process and outcomes measures. PARTICIPANTS: Patients with diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease receiving CM services in a model known as Care Management Plus implemented in primary care. RESULTS: Six factors of CM activity were identified, including a single dosage summary measure and 5 separate patterns of care. Of these, the overall dosage summary measure, face-to-face time, duration of follow-up, and breadth of services were all related to improved processes for hemoglobin A1c and LDL testing and control. Brief intense patterns of care and high face-to-face care manager time were also related to improved outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Using this framework, we isolate components of a CM intervention directly related to improved process of care or patient outcomes. Current efforts to structure CM to include face-to-face time and multiple diseases are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)736-741
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Care management
  • Chronic disease
  • Disease management
  • Management interventions
  • Patient outcomes
  • Process of care


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