Disease Management Update
Volume III, No. 20
August 31, 2006

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Table of Contents

  1. Medicaid Group Approves Use of "Electronic Nurse" to Reduce Noncompliance in Chronic Patients
  2. Disease Management Q&A: Measuring Internet Use Among the Medicaid Population
  3. Condition-Specific Pain Management: Managing a Major Source of Lost Productivity
  4. Indiana Heart Associates Selects Allscripts for Electronic Health Record
  5. Strokes Increasing in Middle-aged Women; Most Are Preventable Through Behavior Change or Treatment

1.) Medicaid Group Approves Use of "Electronic Nurse" to Reduce Noncompliance in Chronic Patients

ALR Technologies, Inc. has announced that PageMinder, Inc., the regimen compliance consultant for Missouri Medicaid, has received approval to use ALR Technologies' health management product, referred to as the "Electronic Nurse," with chronic care patients. PageMinder selected the product as a cost-effective means to improve regimen compliance with their chronic care patients. PageMinder is a healthcare technology company providing compliance services to Missouri Medicaid patients and other state Medicaid groups across the nation. The compliance system helps keep patients on their disease management regimen and allows for interventions.

The product reminds patients to take medication or treatments at each prescribed time of day, displaying on a LCD screen the exact actions to take. It also retains key information on prescriptions, physician and medical clinic names and phone numbers for access when traveling if needed.

To read this story in its entirety, please visit:
http://www.alrt.com/news_releases/news082406.html


2.) Disease Management Q&A: Measuring Internet Use Among the Medicaid Population

Each week, a healthcare professional responds to a reader's query on an industry issue. This week's expert is Herb Schultz, vice president of government account management for McKesson Health Solutions.

Question: Are more Medicaid members using the Internet for healthcare information?

Answer: From my perspective, Internet education is an asset to any public health program. Compare how many people had TVs in their homes 30 years ago to now. Computer system usage is an analogous trend. We're finding the Internet to be an advantageous means of disseminating healthcare information to individuals. We have condition-specific systems set up to personalize the process and engage participants. For example, members with asthma can sign on and find direct information on how to handle their condition under specified circumstances. They get direct insight into whether they should seek treatment, contact a physician or approach the issue in some other manner. I see an increase in computer usage for this purpose, and it will become even more popular over the next five to 10 years.

For more information on Medicaid concerns ranging from eligibility and patient engagement to marketing strategies and provider connections, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3358

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3.) Condition-Specific Pain Management: Managing a Major Source of Lost Productivity

To stay competitive in today's market, it is critical that employers maintain a healthy, happy and productive workforce. As simple and obvious as this maxim is, it is becoming increasingly hard to achieve. Rising medical costs and escalating absenteeism and "presenteeism"—working while impaired—weigh heavily on the minds of benefit and risk managers. When surveyed, benefit specialists cite controlling health and welfare costs as their number one priority. Recent data from federal agencies that track healthcare spending support this concern.

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4.) Indiana Heart Associates Selects Allscripts for Electronic Health Record

Allscripts, a leading provider of clinical software, connectivity and information solutions that physicians use to improve healthcare, has announced that Indiana Heart Associates will deploy the TouchWorks™ Electronic Health Record to automate everyday clinical tasks and enhance the quality and efficiency of patient care. Allscripts also announced that it has entered into a strategic alliance with MedAxiom, an association of more than 220 cardiology groups that aggregates and reports on key clinical and financial data to benchmark and improve performance.

Indiana Heart Associates is one of the largest cardiology groups in Indiana and is closely affiliated with the prestigious Indiana Heart Hospital. The physician group will use the Electronic Health Record from Allscripts to connect and automate its 23 cardiologists and six nurse practitioners across nine locations in the Indianapolis area.

To read this story in its entirety, please visit:
http://www.allscripts.com/ahsArticle.aspx?id=477&type=Press%20Release


5.) Strokes Increasing in Middle-aged Women; Most Are Preventable Through Behavior Change or Treatment

The prevalence of strokes among women ages 41-64 has increased 24 percent between 2001 and 2005, according to a new Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota report of its Minnesota members.

The occurrence of stroke in this group increased from 3.3 to 4.1 members per 1,000 in just four years. This makes strokes in female Blue Cross members aged 41-64 one of the fastest growing diseases among the health insurer's Minnesota members under age 65. Stroke topped the list of growth in prevalence of major diseases studied in Blue Cross' 2006 Health Concerns Report.

To read this article in its entirety, please visit:
http://www.bluecrossmn.com/bc/wcs/idcplg?IdcService=GET_DYNAMIC_CONVERSION&RevisionSelectionMethod=Latest&dDocName=POST71A_082622


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