Disease Management Update
Volume IV, No. 40
January 31, 2008

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

Tobacco-related diseases remain the number one preventable cause of death in America, killing more than 438,000 Americans each year. And according to the University of Florida, while millions of Americans resolve to quit each year, far too many fall off the wagon before January 2.

This week's Disease Management Update takes a look at the myths behind smokeless tobacco and the results of the American Lung Association’s State of Tobacco Control 2007 report.

Visit HIN's blog for smoking cessation tips.

Your colleague in the business of healthcare,
Laura M. Greene
Editor, Disease Management Update

If this is a forwarded copy of Disease Management Update and you like what you see, you can register to receive your own copy of this complimentary service. Sign up at:

Table of Contents

  1. Research Snuffs Out Notion that Smokeless Tobacco is Lesser of Two Evils
  2. Disease Management Q&A: Measuring Productivity through Self-reporting
  3. HealthSounds Podcast: Health Coaching & DM
  4. Government Receives Failing Grades on Tobacco Control
  5. Survey of the Month: Medical Homes Use To Manage Chronic Conditions
  6. Health Behavior, Motivation and Readiness to Change

1. Research Snuffs Out Notion that Smokeless Tobacco is Lesser of Two Evils

Despite officials' suggestion that smokeless tobacco help smokers quit, research by University of Florida (UF) scientists suggests that tactic would be a catch-22, especially in younger smokers.

The theory, called “tobacco harm reduction,” aims to wean smokers off cigarettes by advising them to switch to smokeless products, such as snuff and chewing tobacco. Research suggests that few smokers seem interested in making this switch and he worries that promoting smokeless tobacco could encourage nonsmokers to pick up a dangerous and addictive habit.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt among members of the scientific community that smokeless tobacco carries a lower risk of death than does cigarette smoking,” said Dr. Scott Tomar, department chairman and a professor of community dentistry and behavioral science at UF’s College of Dentistry. “On the other hand, that alone doesn’t necessarily make it an appropriate recommendation coming from the health community.”

To learn more about this study, please visit:

2. Disease Management Q&A: Measuring Productivity through Self-reporting

Each week, healthcare professionals respond to a reader's query on an industry issue. This week's expert is Darcy Hurlbert, health and wellness product specialist with Ceridian Corporation.

Question: Many employers are concerned about the impact of chronic illness on workforce productivity. Is it possible for an organization to measure the impact of health coaching on productivity, presenteesim and absenteeism?

Response: (Darcy Hurlbert) It is possible through a couple of different measures. There are certain health risk assessments (HRAs) that measure productivity. This would be self-report from the individual on their level of productivity, and we can associate that with certain chronic illnesses. The other way that we can measure it is by looking at leave administration data and absences, tracked in that manner in association with chronic illness.

For more information on on how health plans and disease management companies can best measure the efforts of health coaches on behavior and the bottom line, please visit:

We want to hear from you! Submit your question for Disease Management Q&A to info@hin.com.

3. HealthSounds Podcast: Health Coaching & DM

In this week's Disease Management podcast, Danielle Butin, director of health services at Oxford Health Plans, a United Healthcare company, describes the Oxford's two-and-a-half-day health coach training program. Kerry Little, senior health coach with Duke University Medical Center, describes the qualities that set Duke's program apart from other coaching initiatives. Gordian Health Solutions Executive Vice President and Chief Health Officer Roger Reed identifies the key components of a Gordian health coaching call.

To listen to this complimentary HIN podcast, please visit:

4. Government Receives Failing Grades on Tobacco Control

The American Lung Association’s State of Tobacco Control 2007 report, an annual report card on federal and state tobacco control legislation and policies, assigns only D's and F's to the federal government, but says 2008 presents an historic opportunity for Congress to make a dramatic impact on tobacco control across America by authorizing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate tobacco products.

Strong bipartisan legislation is pending in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives that would give the FDA authority over the manufacture, distribution, marketing and use of tobacco products.

"The Congress has an unprecedented opportunity in 2008 to pass this life-saving legislation,” said Bernadette Toomey, president and CEO of the American Lung Association. “We need leaders to stand up and enact national changes that will prevent lung diseases such as lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

To see more of this survey's results, please visit:

5. Survey of the Month: Medical Homes Use To Manage Chronic Conditions

Complete our survey on medical homes use by January 31, and you'll get a free executive summary of the compiled results.

To participate in this survey and receive its results, please visit:

6. Health Behavior, Motivation and Readiness to Change

Health coaches are at the heart of today's healthcare continuum, reflecting an industry shift from simply targeting chronic conditions to addressing all conditions within the disease management spectrum, with an emphasis on wellness and prevention. With data from real-life coaching initiatives, this white paper provides an overview of health coaching, the behavioral theories and training that support it and commentary from organizations that have implemented health coaching to reduce healthcare costs and improve population outcomes.

To download this complimentary white paper, please visit:
Please forward this news announcement to your colleagues who might find it useful.
Contact HIN: For more information on the products and services available through the Healthcare Intelligence Network, contact us at (888) 446-3530 / (732) 528-4468, fax (732) 292-3073 or email us at info@hin.com.
All contents of this message Copyright 2008