Disease Management Update
Volume III, No. 24
September 28, 2006

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Table of Contents

  1. National Survey Finds Women Overlook Warning Signs of Poor Blood Sugar, Raising Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease
  2. Disease Management Q&A: The Ideal Wellness Champion
  3. Wellness and Health Promotion: Programs and Promotions Used by Health Plans and Employers
  4. Stress, Depression, Fatigue Propel Caregivers into Downward Health Spiral, National Study Finds
  5. Predictive Modeling Technology Consultants Launch Disease Management Calculator

1.) National Survey Finds Women Overlook Warning Signs of Poor Blood Sugar, Raising Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease

For women, excess weight in the mid-section, frequent fatigue and carbohydrate cravings may be the warning signs of something more serious. A new survey commissioned by the not-for-profit National Women's Health Resource Center showed that 75 percent of women ages 40-65 who had a family history of diabetes or heart disease but had not been diagnosed themselves reported experiencing these symptoms. However, nearly one-third (32 percent) of all women surveyed did not know they could be signs of impaired insulin function, a key risk factor for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The most common symptoms experienced were excess weight in the mid-section (62 percent), frequent fatigue (36 percent) and carbohydrate cravings (30 percent).

To read this article in its entirety, please visit:
http://www.healthywomen.org/newsroom/pressreleases/dbnwhrcnews/bloodsugar


2.) Disease Management Q&A: The Ideal Wellness Champion

Each week, a healthcare professional responds to a reader's query on an industry issue. This week's expert is William B. Baun, manager of wellness programs at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Question: What are the ideal characteristics of a wellness champion?

Answer: To listen to Baun's response and hear other experts describe the benefits of a good mix of wellness champions and effective strategies for recruiting champions, please visit HIN's podcast site at: http://www.hin.com/podcasts/podcast.htm#11

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


3.) Wellness and Health Promotion: Programs and Promotions Used by Health Plans and Employers

Employee health has become a primary concern of employers looking to shield themselves against rising healthcare costs and improve employees' morale, attendance and productivity. In its May 2006 online survey, HIN asked health plans and employers about their use of health promotion programs. This executive summary identifies preferred programs, common promotion strategies and challenges to successful initiatives.

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


4.) Stress, Depression, Fatigue Propel Caregivers into Downward Health Spiral, National Study Finds

The stress and worry of caregiving lead millions of caregivers to neglect their own physical and mental health, resulting in depression, extreme fatigue, poor eating and exercise habits and greater use of medications, according to a new study by Evercare®,a leading provider of health plans for people who have chronic or advanced illness, are older or have disabilities, and the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC), a national research provider on caregiving.

According to the study, "Caregivers in Decline: A Close-up Look at the Health Risks of Caring for a Loved One," more than half (53 percent) surveyed said this downward health spiral also negatively affects their ability to provide care. Nine in 10 (91 percent) caregivers surveyed — all in fair/poor health and having seen a decline in their health as a result of caregiving — suffer from depression, and eight in 10 (81 percent) of those with depression reported that caregiving has made their depression worse. Respondents cited stress as the most pervasive health problem in their lives, stemming from worry about their loved one's condition as well as being overwhelmed with caregiving responsibilities.

According to the study, there are more than 44 million caregivers in the U.S., with 21 percent of households containing at least one caregiver. As the "baby boomers" turn 65, that number is expected to surge.

For more information, please visit:
http://evercarehealthplans.com/newsroom_article8.jsp


5.) Predictive Modeling Technology Consultants Launch Disease Management Calculator

DxCG® Inc, which provides predictive modeling software for healthcare organizations, has introduced DM Estimator™, a Web-enabled calculation tool that estimates potential cost savings from disease management. The DM Estimator is the first such predictive modeling calculator from DxCG to use the Diagnostic Cost Group (DCG) methodology to calculate the occurrence of disease for disease management planning and evaluation.

According to the company, the DM Estimator approximates the potential for savings based on a managed care population's demographics, geographic location, estimated disease burden and intervention approach. The DM Estimator can be used as a reference tool by healthcare organizations to evaluate existing disease management programs or their population's participation level for a possible disease management program.

To read the complete story, please visit:
http://www.dxcg.com/news-events/index.asp?display=detail&id=26


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