Up-to-date disease management news and analysis


Disease Management Update
Volume IV, No. 19
August 30, 2007

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

Heart Disease. It's the number one killer in the U.S. In fact, someone in the country dies from it every 34 seconds -- that's more than 2,500 Americans a day! This week's Disease Management Update looks at some new approaches to reducing the risk of heart disease including case management, an effective and inexpensive way to reduce risk. And don't forget to visit HIN's blog to read about a common element in many Americans' diets that might increase their risk of heart disease.

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: http://www.hin.com/dmdesktop/diseasemanagement.html

Table of Contents

  1. Case-management Method Reduces Risk, Increases Savings
  2. Disease Management Q&A: Partnering to Produce Program Success
  3. HealthSounds Podcast: Maximizing the Results of Your Disease Management Programs Through Community-Based Resources
  4. Stopping Heart Disease Before It Starts
  5. Clinical Case Management: A Common Platform for Managing Health and Productivity


1. Case-management Method Reduces Risk, Increases Savings

A case-management approach helped a diverse group of patients reduce their overall risk of heart disease by roughly 10 percent and did so in a cost-effective way, according to a Stanford University study. The study explored a broad range of services to lower heart disease risks among a culturally diverse, low-income population.

For the case-management study, researchers followed 341 patients who were randomly assigned to receive either primary care alone or primary care augmented by case-management visits over a 17-month period. Case managers emphasized behavior changes, such as better eating and more exercise, and helped ensure that patients used prescribed medications properly. Patients were involved in their own care through self-monitoring and reporting.

The study estimated the overall cost of the case-management visits at about $1,250 per patient, or about the price of six regular office visits to a primary care physician. This is a relatively small outlay to reduce the risk of a heart attack, which often costs hospitals more than $40,000.

To learn more about the findings of this study, please visit:
http://med.stanford.edu/news_releases/2007/august/case-manage.html

2. Disease Management Q&A: Partnering to Produce Program Success

Each week, a healthcare professional responds to a reader's query on an industry issue. This week's expert is Michelle Brooks, RN, MSN, administrator, regional health plans for Pitt County Memorial Hospital, University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina.

Question: What initiatives make for successful case-management programs?

Response: (Michelle Brooks) Specifically with Pitt County's well-child visit case management program, we partnered with an academic pediatric department. When we looked at the number of kids who had not received well-child checks based on claims data and Medicaid data, we saw that not only do the children need to be seen, but also the practices benefit from those visits so that the kids are familiar with them when they’re sick. It was a very time-consuming process, but we identified those kids, particularly the younger ones, who had not seen the doctor for a well check. The case managers contacted them. The office gave us access to their scheduling system so the case managers could directly schedule kids for visits.

There are other social conditions that you have to look at in healthcare, such as transportation availability. It’s not about just making the appointment. Can the patient get there? Can I get them connected with a community resource that can provide them with transportation? None of our initiatives were any kind of rocket science initiatives, but we just identified a need and developed strategies in those particular practices to meet those needs.

To learn more about partnering with community-based organizations to improve your practice, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3731

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

3. HealthSounds Podcast: Maximizing the Results of Your Disease Management Programs Through Community-Based Resources

In this week's Disease Management podcast, Michelle Brooks, RN, MSN, administrator, regional health plans for Pitt County Memorial Hospital, University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, describes how her organization's case managers identify and work with patients with chronic diseases to coordinate healthcare services and community-based services. Judith Szilagyi-Neary, clinical care manager at Ovations, a United Healthcare Company, outlines two programs provided through Ovations - a transition coach program and the Personal Service Delivery Program, both of which strategize and maximize community-based resources.

To listen to this complimentary HIN podcast, please visit:
http://www.hin.com/podcasts/podcast.htm#23

4. Stopping Heart Disease Before It Starts

Treating people who have early cardiovascular abnormalities but show no symptoms of cardiovascular disease can slow progression and reverse damage to the heart and blood vessels, according to new research from the University of Minnesota.

Researchers enrolled 76 asymptomatic subjects with early signs of cardiovascular disease in a double-blind study. During the first six months of the study, 38 subjects received a placebo, and the other 38 subjects took a drug that blocks a hormone that is detrimental to the blood vessels and the heart. During the next six months, both groups took the hormone-blocking drug.

Those who took the drug for the first six months significantly reduced their Rasmussen Disease Score, which helps doctors identify early cardiovascular abnormalities that tend to lead to symptomatic cardiovascular disease, compared with those who took the placebo. After 12 months, while both groups were taking the drug, every patient showed better Rasmussen Disease Scores.ith the other regions around the world.

To see more of this survey's results, please visit:
http://www.ahc.umn.edu/news/releases/heartdamage082707/home.html

5. Clinical Case Management: A Common Platform for Managing Health and Productivity

As economic connections between employee health and workforce productivity have been more clearly delineated, employers are considering health and productivity management as a business strategy that can increase corporate earnings. Integrating the management of their benefit programs is one option for such strategies, but certainly not the only means of achieving this goal.

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

Please forward this news announcement to your colleagues who might find it useful.
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All contents of this message Copyright 2007