Disease Management Update
Volume III, No. 19
August 24, 2006

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Table of Contents

  1. American Lung Association Poll Reveals Inadequate Preparation Before Back-to-School Asthma Spikes
  2. Disease Management Q&A: Engaging School Nurses in Asthma Disease Management Efforts
  3. Disease Management: Definition, Benchmarks, Metrics
  4. CIGNA Behavioral Health to Offer Standalone Depression Disease Management Program
  5. MPAAT Announces Centralized Call Center Providing Multiple Options for Quitting Smoking

1.) American Lung Association Poll Reveals Inadequate Preparation Before Back-to-School Asthma Spikes

As millions of students with asthma pour back into the nation's classrooms over the next month, the results of an American Lung Association poll of parents of children with asthma reveal they are not taking basic steps to manage their child's asthma while at school. Less than one-third of those parents surveyed make sure their children are under medical supervision or talk to school administrators about their child's asthma, despite evidence that asthma emergency room and hospitalization rates spike in September — a seasonal "back-to-school asthma" phenomenon.

According to the poll, 73 percent of parents of children with asthma report they are concerned about how their child's asthma will affect their ability to participate in school, yet the majority of those parents are not taking steps recommended by the American Lung Association to better manage their child's asthma. Less than half the parents polled talk to the teacher about their child's asthma (48 percent) or make sure the child's medicine is available at school (42 percent). Less than one-third make sure their child is under medical supervision (31 percent) or talk to the school administration about the child's health condition (27 percent).

To read this story in its entirety, please visit:
http://www.lungusa.org/site/apps/nl/content2.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=34893&ct=2891753¬oc=1


2.) Disease Management Q&A: Engaging School Nurses in Asthma Disease Management Efforts

Each week, a healthcare professional responds to a reader's query on an industry issue. This week's expert is Erika Jones, asthma disease manager at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

Question: How can the public schools — for example, school nurses — be engaged in an effective disease management (DM) program?

Answer: A great way for public school nurses to be engaged is that as they're educating the families about the importance of action plans, as providers they can also give the families a student action plan that can go with them to school. For example, they can encourage the families to request two inhalers, one for home and one for school.

Nurses should tell parents it's important that the inhalers are labeled correctly and that they should make sure the school nurse understands how to take care of asthma. Maybe you can't directly teach the nurses, but you can go in and take the time to teach them about your child. It will benefit all the other kids in the school that have asthma because you took the time. As nurses and as case managers, we can encourage the families to share the information they've gotten from the physicians with the school nurses. That's going to make a huge difference. In Kansas City we do a lot of education and outreach to the school systems because that's our workplace.

For more information on the essential elements of an asthma DM program and the impact these programs can have on an organization's bottom line, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=2993

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


3.) Disease Management: Definition, Benchmarks, Metrics

Although disease management (DM) is becoming a staple of many health plans, measuring actual dollar savings is still a goal not yet achieved, according to DM industry experts who spoke at a recent audio conference sponsored by the Managed Care Information Center (MCIC).

Robert E. Stone, president of the Disease Management Association of America (DMAA) and executive vice president and founder of American Healthways, Alfred B. Lewis, founder and executive director of the Disease Management Purchasing Consortium, and George J. Pfeiffer, president of the WorkCare Group Inc., shared their ideas for defining DM efforts and measuring their impact.

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


4.) CIGNA Behavioral Health to Offer Standalone Depression Disease Management Program

CIGNA HealthCare is expanding the availability of its depression disease management (DM) program so that benefit plan sponsors can offer a single, consistent clinical care program for depression across their entire workforce. As part of the program expansion, CIGNA will integrate and analyze data from an employer's healthcare and pharmacy benefits vendors along with the employer's behavioral health data to deliver depression DM services. The program will be administered by CIGNA Behavioral Health, which provides behavioral healthcare benefits and programs. The program will also be available through CareAllies, which offers health management programs to benefit plan sponsors and third-party administrators regardless of their medical plan or provider network.

To read this story in its entirety, please visit:
http://cigna.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=press_releases&item=1110


5.) MPAAT Announces Centralized Call Center Providing Multiple Options for Quitting Smoking

The Minnesota Partnership for Action Against Tobacco has launched a new centralized call center for QUITPLAN® Services. For the first time, callers will be able to receive information about all available QUITPLAN stop-smoking options through a single phone number: 1-888-354-PLAN (7526).

Caller options will be based on their insurance coverage, community of residence and service preferences. Callers will be able to make informed choices about the intensity and types of services that are best for them. If appropriate, they may also be given access to free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges through either the QUITPLAN Helpline or a QUITPLAN Center. Callers with existing coverage for telephone counseling will be connected to their health plans' counseling services.

To read this article in its entirety, please visit:
http://www.mpaat.org/vertical/Sites/{54941340-5892-4A14-8F5F-FF621D207BF2}/uploads/{2C3A44BC-6220-496F-AC66-EA224AC0124C}.DOC


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