Recently, many disease management programs, especially for patients with chronic diseases, have emerged. This paper discusses the potential benefits and disadvantages of disease management, on the basis of an extensive literature review. Disease management is an innovative technology in health care management, which is diffusing throughout the health care system without critical evaluation. Evidence on its effectiveness and costs is still very scarce, while the legal, ethical, organizational, and social implications of this practice have not been analyzed seriously. Before disease management is implemented on a broader scale in different European settings, first, empirical evidence about its alleged benefits and cost-effectiveness should be collected.
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