While there are no cures for chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, or congestive heart failure, careful management of symptoms and patient education is widely believed to improve patients’ perceptions of their quality of life, prolong life, and reduce some medical costs.
Working with the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Altarum Institute facilitated an innovative collaboration of active military, veteran and academic medical centers in a clinical trial of ways to manage chronic diseases. More than 1,000 patients participated in this 4-year, $19 million, federally funded study of ways to manage congestive heart failure through intensive patient education and self-efficacy interventions.
In addition to providing liaison and program management skills to this project, Altarum contributed analytical skills to the research results, managed the data, applied models to estimate the long-term effects of the study, and collaborated on a series of manuscripts published in leading medical and health care administration journals. The Altarum staff also developed a complementary research agenda and produced several peer-reviewed publications with Altarum investigators as lead author. The success of this project has led to a similar study for asthma management.