Disease Management Update
Volume IV, No. 29
November 8, 2007

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

Nearly 19 million Americans are affected by some form of arthritis, and 2.1 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. This week's Disease Management Update looks at new risks identified for this disease as well as how it affects the American workforce.

Visit HIN's blog to read about some home remedies for arthritis.

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:

Table of Contents

  1. New Variant Associated with Increased Risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis Identified
  2. Disease Management Q&A: The Effectiveness of Live Coaching Demonstrations
  3. HealthSounds Podcast: Utilizing Community Resources to Maximize DM Results
  4. Arthritis Significantly Limits Millions of Americans’ Ability to Work
  5. Survey of the Month: MRSA Education and Prevention
  6. Disease Management: Definition, Benchmarks, Metrics

1. New Variant Associated with Increased Risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis Identified

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT carried out a genome-wide association study of nearly 400 individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and identified a novel variant on chromosome 6 that increases the risk for developing the disease. The new variant is very close to a different variant on chromosome 6 that has also been shown to contribute to disease risk.

“RA is a devastating disease, yet we don’t know the root cause,” said first author Robert Plenge, M.D., Ph.D., who is a rheumatologist at BWH. “Human genetics offers an opportunity to understand why some people get the disease and others don’t. The hope is that discoveries such as ours will lead to improved prediction of who gets the disease, improved decisions on how to treat the disease and improved medications that target specific pathways in select patients.”

To read more about this study, please visit:

2. Disease Management Q&A: The Effectiveness of Live Coaching Demonstrations

Each week, healthcare professionals respond to a reader's query on an industry issue. This week's expert is Margaret Moore, Wellcoaches CEO.

Question: Why is a live health coaching demonstration effective? What can the health coach and those managing a coaching team learn from this?

Response: I first started presenting on coaching about five years ago. I found that when you present the principles and explain the processes and philosophies, often people say, “I already do that. I already listen and ask open-ended questions.” Also, when you read about coaching and positive psychology in a book, often there’s a similar reaction. “I already do those sorts of things.” In response, I started doing live demos. We’ve done many over the years, and we do them in coach training classes. We’ve come up with a simple tool for developing a vision for one’s health and well-being that follows the principles of the Transtheoretical Model. We share that so people understand that it’s not a random process.

The interaction during the coaching session often results in a breakthrough or insight. You hear the shift in the client’s energy as they are empowered. When you observe that mini-transformation over 15 minutes, you realize that it’s a different relational interaction than what you’re accustomed to hearing. When you hear it in action, it’s a much more powerful way to bring to life what coaching is and isn’t.

For more details on integrating positive psychology to better DM outcomes, please visit:

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

3. HealthSounds Podcast: Utilizing Community Resources to Maximize DM Results

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:

4. Arthritis Significantly Limits Millions of Americans’ Ability to Work

Arthritis limits millions of working Americans’ productivity, activity or ability to work, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). State-specific data shows those reporting arthritis-related work limitations ranged from 25 percent in Nevada to 51 percent in Kentucky. The state median is 33 percent.

These statistics come with a price tag as well, as another CDC study shows in 2003 state-specific earning losses due to arthritis ranged from $78 million to $4.3 billion. That same year, the total cost of arthritis to the United States economy was $128 billion. A third CDC report also shows unemployment is higher in every state among people with arthritis. CDC anticipates the number of people with arthritis will significantly increase over the next few years, resulting in a loss of human resources and a greater economic impact across the country.

“Arthritis is the nation’s most common cause of disability and limits activity for 19 million adults with the disease,” says John H. Klippel, M.D., president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. “With the projected increase of arthritis prevalence and growing number of Americans facing work-related challenges because of the disease, the Arthritis Foundation is increasing its commitment to improving the lives of people with arthritis.”

To learn more about this report's findings, please visit:

5. Survey of the Month: MRSA Education and Prevention

Complete our survey on MRSA education and prevention and you'll get a free executive summary of the compiled results.

To participate in this survey and receive its results, please visit:

6. 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 an audio conference sponsored by the Managed Care Information Center (MCIC).

To download this complimentary white paper, please visit:
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