Objective: To assess the impact of a comprehensive migraine disease management program, as measured by humanistic outcomes measures, conducted in a managed care setting.
Design: A prospective comparative study comprised of an intervention and a control group to evaluate the impact of the disease management initiative.
Setting: Independent Practice Association (IPA)-type managed care organization.
Study participants and main outcomes measures: Study participants resided in adjacent regions (intervention region included Minneapolis, MN, USA and the usual care region included St Paul, MN, USA and adjacent areas in MN, USA) separated by natural geographic barriers. Eligible patients were identified through a review of the Medica plan’s administrative claims database and were asked to complete the Migraine Therapy Assessment Questionnaire (MTAQ), a tool to assess the presence of migraine management issues. Responders (patients completing the MTAQ) who reported ≥2 migraine care risk indicators in the intervention region received the disease management intervention, while all responders in the control region received usual care. Responders in both regions with ≥2 migraine care risk indicators were also asked to complete the Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) questionnaire and the 12-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) at baseline. All participants were asked to complete the same instruments at the end of the program as they did at baseline. Interventions: Disease management intervention activities included patient and physician education, as well as a patient feedback report containing migraine care risk indicators, which was sent to the treating physicians. All patients were encouraged to contact their physicians if they reported two or more migraine management issues.
Results: A total of 2232 patients with migraine were enrolled in the study (1373 from the intervention region and 859 in the control region). Compared with patients in the control region, patients in the intervention region reported, as measured by MTAQ, significant improvement in migraine symptom relief, more knowledge about potential migraine triggers, a decrease in economic burden, and more satisfaction with migraine treatment. In addition, the change in MIDAS scores from baseline showed a greater shift towards decreasing disability in the intervention group compared with the control group. However, no statistically significant improvement was detected in terms of health status as measured by SF-12. Of the participants in the intervention region who completed the program evaluation survey, 40% indicated that they called or visited their physicians regarding their migraine survey results if it was recommended. For those contacting their physicians, 76% had their medications changed and 75% noted an improvement in relief due to a change in medication.
Conclusions: Considering the significant toll of migraine on patients, employers, and the healthcare system, healthcare plans should consider implementing migraine disease management programs to improve migraine care.