Disease Management Update
Volume III, No. 17
August 10, 2006

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Table of Contents

  1. Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health Releases Report on the State of Diabetes in Texas
  2. Disease Management Q&A: Identifying Depression in a Patient with Diabetes
  3. Educating Consumers on Consumer-Driven Healthcare
  4. Patient Obesity Is Obscuring Medical Scans, Study Finds
  5. Walgreens Expands In-Store "Health Corner Clinic" to Atlanta, Chicago and Las Vegas

1.) Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health Releases Report on the State of Diabetes in Texas

The Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health has released a new report on the prevalence, costs and quality of care for Texans with Type 2 diabetes. The inaugural Texas Type 2 Diabetes Report for 2006 presents an overview of patient demographics, hospital and professional charges, utilization of clinical services, and drug therapy for Type 2 diabetes patients in key local markets across the state. The report also provides state and national benchmarks that can help providers and employers better identify opportunities to serve the needs of Texans with diabetes.

According to this report, nearly two-thirds (64.7 percent) of Texans diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2005 were between the ages of 18 to 64 years the prime working-ages for most Americans — compared to a national average of 53.8 percent. Austin has the highest percentage of working age diabetes patients of the five metropolitan areas examined in the report, with 77.5 percent between the ages of 18 and 64 years, compared to San Antonio, which has the lowest percentage, 60.5 percent, in this age group.

To read the study in its entirety, please visit:
http://www.dfwbgh.org/documents/7.25.06%20DFWBGH%20Press%20Release.doc


2.) Disease Management Q&A: Identifying Depression in a Patient with Diabetes

Each week, a healthcare professional responds to a reader's query on an industry issue. This week's expert is Jaan Sidorov, M.D., medical director with Geisinger Health Plan.

Question: A recent article in the New York Times discussed the possible link between diabetes and mental health. How does your diabetes management program address that kind of co-morbidity?

Answer: Our model relies on generalist nurses. We have a toolbox of care plan options that nurses can pull out when they're dealing with an individual patient to try to create an individualized plan of care. It's no secret that depression is a big comorbidity among patients with diabetes. Routinely, our nurses screen patients for the presence of depression using the two-question Whooley screener (developed by Dr. Mary A. Whooley). If positive, we alert the primary care physician that the patient may have depression. More importantly, we also alert the patient that they may have depression, and we encourage them to talk to their physician about it.

There are certain situations, particularly involving mental health, where nurse-based case management just is not enough to meet an individual patient's needs, and that may be a signal to rely on and alert the primary care provider that this is not a patient with usual diabetes who is necessarily going to do well with the usual disease management approach. Something more needs to be done.

To learn more about identifying potential members for diabetes disease management programs, the interventions given and the impact these programs are having on patient outcomes and the bottom line, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3428

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


3.) Educating Consumers on Consumer-Driven Healthcare

Consumer-driven healthcare (CDHC) is a familiar refrain in healthcare and a call to action for health plans and employers. It encompasses a changing mind-set among healthcare organizations: challenging consumers to view healthcare as they do other consumable products and providing the healthcare intelligence they need to make informed decisions. But how to educate consumers about the range of plans and services available to them? The Internet, print, health fairs and face-to-face meetings offer just a few communication vehicles. In a July 2006 online survey, the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN) asked its constituents to divulge their most successful consumer education strategies.

To download this complimentary white paper, please visit:http://www.hin.com/library/registercdhc.html


4.) Patient Obesity Is Obscuring Medical Scans, Study Finds

In yet another example of how obesity is playing havoc with Americans' health, a new study finds that the number of inconclusive diagnostic imaging exams has doubled in the last 15 years — a phenomenon experts attribute to all those extra pounds.

To assess the effect of obesity on the quality of imaging exams, researchers reviewed all radiology records from tests performed at Massachusetts General Hospital between 1989 and 2003. Specifically, they were looking at incomplete exams due to patient size. The study found that in 1989, 0.10 percent of inconclusive exams were due to patient size. By 2003, that number had almost doubled to 0.19 percent. The new study is published in the August issue of the journal Radiology.

For more information about this study, please visit:
http://radiology.rsnajnls.org/cgi/content/abstract/240/2/435


5.) Walgreens Expands In-Store "Health Corner Clinic" to Atlanta, Chicago and Las Vegas

Walgreens, the nation's largest drugstore chain, will open in-store Health Corner Clinics at stores in Atlanta, Chicago and Las Vegas later this year, the company has announced. Each market will open more than a dozen Health Corner Clinics inside Walgreens drugstores, beginning with Chicago this fall.

Walgreens recently opened 10 Health Corner Clinics in the Kansas City market and will open nine in the St. Louis area later this year. The clinics will treat patients for routine medical conditions, perform diagnostic screenings and offer vaccinations inside centers adjacent to the store's pharmacy department.

To operate the clinics, Walgreens is partnering with InterFit Health (RediClinic) in Atlanta, Take Care Health in Chicago and Pinnacle EasyCare in Las Vegas. Take Care Health also operates the Health Corner Clinics at Walgreens in Kansas City and those slated to open in St. Louis.

To read this story in its entirety, please visit:
http://www.walgreens.com/about/press/press_releases/072406_chicagoclinics.jsp


Contact HIN:
For more information on the products and services available through the Healthcare Intelligence Network, contact us at (888) HIN-3530 (446-3530), (732) 528-HIN8, (528-4468), fax (732) 292-3073 or email us at info@hin.com.

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