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September 8, 2008

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

DMAA Releases First-Ever Survey on
State of Disease Management, Wellness Market

WASHINGTON—Health plans and employers show a strong and growing interest in wellness programs and view participant satisfaction as an important measure of program success, a market survey released today by DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance shows.

The survey of 114 major health plans, employers and companies that provide population health improvement programs, such as wellness and disease management service organizations, found that 84 percent of health plans and employers offer one or more wellness programs now and that 91 percent will within the next year.

The survey's assessment of the wellness market reflects the expanding mission of DMAA and its members into the full spectrum of care along the continuum for chronic conditions-from prevention and wellness to disease management and more complex interventions.

"Workplace wellness has become an essential component of employers' strategy to improve employee health and productivity, and lower health care costs," said Elaine Mischler, MD, co-chair of the DMAA Market Analysis Workgroup. "Employers understand that preventing chronic conditions in their employees is far less costly than managing disease after it occurs."

"Disease Management and Wellness: Results of a Market Research Survey," the product of a year-long DMAA research effort, also found:

  • Health plans, employers and service organizations concur that member engagement, strong willingness to change behavior and physician engagement are the three strongest determinants of disease management program success. All agree that member engagement and strong willingness to change behavior are keys to wellness program success.
  • Health plans and employers view participant satisfaction with wellness efforts as an important measure of success-87 percent of service organizations report that satisfaction measures are the most common element of requests for proposals (RFPs).
  • Service organizations (77 percent) also report that RFPs show a strong expectation of data integration across multiple health and wellness programs.
  • Diabetes, coronary artery disease (CAD) and asthma represent the top three conditions for disease management program enrollment.
  • Health risk assessments-questionnaires to gauge a respondent's risk of an adverse health condition-are the most popular wellness initiative among employers and service organizations; health plans most often favor cholesterol screening and counseling.

DMAA conducted the survey to establish a vision of the disease management industry for the next three to five years and establish a knowledge base of current general industry, clinical and financial statistics and projections. "We view this as an ongoing project," DMAA President and CEO Tracey Moorhead said, adding that the association plans follow-up surveys over the next two years. "An important aspect of this project is understanding how the needs of the market change over time so our members and others can respond with the most effective programs possible."

The survey collected responses from health plans, including commercial and public-sector plans and third-party administrators; employers; and disease management and wellness program providers, which the report collectively calls "service organizations." The data is presented in three sections-areas of concurrence among the three surveyed groups, areas where the groups' priorities differed and areas requiring further research.

Copies of the complete survey results are available for purchase on CD-ROM from DMAA, at www.dmaa.org. Members of the media may submit requests for the survey to Carl Graziano, at (202) 737-5781 or cgraziano@carecontinuum.org.

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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 individuals with chronic conditions and those at risk for developing chronic conditions. DMAA's activities in support of these efforts include advocacy, research and the promotion of best practices in care management.

DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance represents more than 200 corporate and individual stakeholders—including wellness, disease and care management organizations, pharmaceutical manufacturers and benefit managers, health information technology innovators, biotechnology innovators, employers, physicians, nurses and other health care professionals, and researchers and academicians. Visit DMAA on the Web at www.dmaa.org.

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