Date of Award

Summer 8-12-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Bruce Perry, MD, MPH

Second Advisor

Jessica Howell Pratt, MPH

Abstract

DM is a serious and complex public health problem in the U.S. The CDC (2013) estimated that 25.8 million people, or 8.3% of the U.S. population, were suffering from DM in 2011. DM can significantly affect patient’s quality of life. Additionally, DM places a significant economic burden on the U.S. healthcare system.

Over the past two decades, DMPs have emerged as a promising intervention to improve health outcomes for patients suffering from chronic conditions, such as DM, and to bend the cost curve. DMP’s aim is to improve communication and follow-up so that patients can better manage their chronic condition(s) to avoid costly hospital stays and emergency room visits (Fireman, Bartlett, & Selby, 2004).

The Georgia region of Kaiser Permanente (KPGA) is a fully integrated health system that serves 260,000 members at 28 medical offices along with two specialty offices in the metropolitan Atlanta area. The Center for Care Partnership, the population care division of KPGA, administers a chronic disease management program (DMP), Healthy Solutions (HS). HS exists to improve and maintain the health of chronically ill KPGA members, including patients diagnosed with diabetes mellitus (DM), by providing health coaches via telephone who counsel members on their specific chronic disease and aid members in starting or maintaining a physician approved self-care management plan.

In order to determine the impact HS has on KPGA members with DM, an evaluation plan was created to evaluate the impact HS has on members’ glycated hemoglobin (A1C), blood pressure, and emergency department (ED) utilization. This capstone thoroughly details the proposed evaluation plan created for HS by using Robert Milstein and Scott Wetterhall’s six-step framework for program evaluation. Additionally, further evaluation questions are suggested and discussed in order to provide a more complete picture of program performance to stakeholders.

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