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Disease management programs include a wide variation of patients with different chronic diseases and different health care utilization. The aim of this article was to identify factors on patient-level and organizational-level that explain the variability in costs of patients with different chronic diseases enrolled in a DMP by employing a rigorous analytical model. A generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) was specified to perform a multi-level analysis of cross-sectional hierarchical data from 16 DMPs in the Netherlands. Multiple imputation, sub-group analysis per disease and analysis from both the health care and the societal perspectives were also performed. Our model showed that age, the presence of cardiovascular disease, multi-morbidity and payments on top of the payment for the usual care had positive relation with costs, while better quality of life was associated with lower health care costs. In the COPD sample, physical activity and employment were associated with health care costs. Our study showed that there is great variability in health care costs among patients included in DMPs and identified patient and organizational explanatory factors. The findings are relevant to the design of future DMPs and their payment schemes. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Original publication




Journal article


Applied Economics

Publication Date





940 - 951