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September 17, 2007

Contact: Carl Graziano
Vice President, Strategic Communications
(202) 737-5781

DMAA Recognizes Organizations, Individuals
For Excellence in Chronic Care

LAS VEGAS—In presentations here today, DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance honored corporate and individual leaders in chronic disease care with the association's coveted annual awards for excellence.

During a morning presentation at its 9th Annual Disease Management Leadership Forum, DMAA presented 2007 Disease Management Leadership Awards to:

  • City County Insurance Services, for Outstanding Health Plan. City County Insurance Services, a program of the League of Oregon Cities (LOC) and Association of Oregon Counties, used predictive modeling and health coaching under its innovative "One Care Street" program to promote weight management and smoking cessation, resulting in fewer professional and emergency room visits and hospital admissions.

"We are honored by DMAA's recognition of our Healthy Benefits program using ‘One Care Street.' We're gratified that this approach has had a positive impact on the health of our city and county employee members, as well as on the premium costs to their communities," said CIS Executive Director Noel Klein. "The commitment that our Board of Trustees made to employee health improvement five years ago has proved to be a wise one."

"The League of Oregon Cities and the Association of Oregon Counties are pleased that the work of our insurance trust to develop innovative, proactive health care initiatives is receiving national recognition," said LOC Executive Director Mike McCauley. "We are proud of the skilled and dedicated staff who work for the insurance trust."

  • Blue Care Network of Michigan, Outstanding Health Plan, for Healthy Blue Living. Blue Care Network's new Healthy Blue Living rewards employers and members for attempting to meet healthful lifestyle goals. Through Healthy Blue Living, both the "healthful lifestyle conscious" and "healthful lifestyle reluctant" are provided equal, immediate and sustainable financial incentives to achieve health goals.

"It is an honor to be recognized for our team's innovative work that, most important, changes lives," said Douglas Woll, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer of Blue Care Network of Michigan. "We believe we are one of the first health plans, if not the pioneer, to offer a product that promotes healthful lifestyles and rewards collaboration among the member, physician, employer and plan.

"Strong incentives for members to commit to and adopt healthful lifestyles—and for purchasers to heavily promote them—are embedded in our product, Healthy Blue Living," he said. "The support to members is comprehensive. It ranges from a defined opportunity for each member to learn his or her personal set of modifiable risk factors, to physician guidance, to health coaching tailored for each individual.

"Our approach," he explained, "is based on more than a decade of research showing that behavior change is a key driver in controlling current and future health care costs."

  • CHD Meridian Healthcare, for Outstanding Journal Article. The article, "Leveraging the Trusted Clinician: Documenting Disease Management Program Enrollment," published in the DMAA peer-reviewed journal, Disease Management, describes a pilot program developed for The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and conducted by CHD Meridian Healthcare to integrate the "trusted clinician at the worksite" with telephonic disease management to dramatically increase contact and enrollment rates—76 percent for enrollment vs. a more common 15 percent rate.

"We can't help people manage their health if we can't get them motivated and enrolled in the programs that we know will make a real difference for them," said Ray Fabius, MD, president and chief medical officer for CHD Meridian Healthcare. "By integrating traditional disease management with trusted clinicians at the workplace, we know that not only can we boost engagement, we can also impact retention and results. It's an honor for us and our partner in this ongoing research, The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, to be recognized by DMAA for the findings of our initial efforts.

"We're continuing to work together on this important project and will be following up with studies demonstrating improved adherence, satisfaction and outcomes. Our preliminary results are encouraging," Dr. Fabius said. "Leveraging trusted clinicians to facilitate participation produces measurable effect. Those clinicians most advantaged to make an impact are those who go to work each day with their patients," he added.

  • Neil J. Grey, MD, for Physician in Practice. Dr. Grey (1939-2007) was highly committed to driving best practices for care in diabetes management and building out programs in multiple populations and disciplines over time. He founded and directed Diabetes LifeCare at Hartford Hospital, a hospital-based diabetes disease management program that includes multidisciplinary management, self-management training and long-term follow-up to maintain improved HbA1cs and reduce complications.

"Neil devoted his life and his career to improving care for patients with diabetes," said his wife, Joan Grey, who accepted the award for her late husband. "We are honored that the DMAA has created an award to recognize physician leaders like Neil and that Neil's important work has received such recognition."

  • George Rust, MD, MPH, for Physician in Practice. Dr. Rust has dedicated his career as a family practice physician to improving health care access, quality and outcomes for low-income and uninsured segments of the population. He heads the National Center for Primary care at Morehouse School of Medicine, in Atlanta, where his disease management team develops innovative strategies to address complex medical comorbidities and coexisting behavioral mental health needs among disabled Medicaid clients.

"Disease management has the potential to transform state Medicaid programs from being simple insurance programs for the poor to becoming a powerful force for improving population health outcomes," Dr. Rust said. "Taxpayers will save money in state and federal budgets, not because they are cutting enrollment or services or provider payments, but rather because they are helping the complex populations served by Medicaid to have less suffering—fewer complications of chronic disease, fewer visits to the emergency room, and less time in the hospital."

"These individuals and companies really exemplify the best in high-quality care for chronically ill individuals," said DMAA President and CEO Tracey Moorhead. "Our annual awards are about leadership in chronic care, and our winners today have demonstrated their excellence as leaders many times over."

DMAA earlier this year solicited award nominations in a rigorous process that evaluated nominations against seven core criteria focusing on commitment, program design, implementation, innovation, outcomes-based orientation, scope and potential impact, and vision/leadership. Each award winner also met category-specific criteria.

Since its creation in 1999, DMAA's Leadership Awards Program has honored organizations and individuals in population health improvement annually. Although the awards have evolved over the years, their core purpose remains the same: to recognize outstanding achievements in and contributions to the science and practice of chronic disease care.

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About DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance
DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance convenes all stakeholders providing services along the care continuum toward the goal of population health improvement. These care continuum services include strategies such as health and wellness promotion, disease management and care coordination. DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance promotes the role of population health improvement in raising the quality of care, improving health outcomes and reducing preventable health care costs for people with chronic conditions and those at risk for developing chronic conditions. DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance represents more than 200 corporate and individual stakeholders, including health plans, disease management organizations, health information technology innovators, employers, physicians, nurses and other health care professionals and researchers and academicians.

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