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November 24, 2008

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

DMAA Recognizes Leaders in Population Health Improvement

Annual Leadership Awards Honor Excellence in Chronic Condition Prevention, Care

HOLLYWOOD, Fla.-In presentations here today, DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance honored corporate and individual leaders for excellence in population health improvement with the association's annual Population Health Improvement Leadership Awards.

During an afternoon ceremony at The Forum 08, its 10th annual meeting, DMAA presented 2008 Leadership Awards to:

  • WellMed Medical Management, for Outstanding Quality Initiative Award—WellMed used lipid management testing, no-cost prescription drug vouchers and friction-reducing diabetic shoes to decrease hospitalizations by 14.8 percent over four years and improve lipid results and prescription refill rates among seniors at high risk for cardiac and vascular disease.

"At WellMed, we will invest more than $3 million this year alone to underwrite prescription drug costs for seniors with chronic disease states because we have found it to be a proven strategy for the delivery of quality preventive health care for seniors," said WellMed founder and CEO George M. Rapier III, MD. "That commitment to effective, quality health care is one of the reasons WellMed serves 1 in 5 Medicare-eligible seniors in our community. This recognition by DMAA reflects very well on our company's mission and on our health care professionals."

  • Healthwise® Ix® Conversations, for Outstanding Technology/Innovative Tool—Adapted from the computer game industry and with the use of extensive multi-branching logic, Healthwise® Ix® Conversations promote self-management of chronic conditions through an interactive question-and-answer process that employs voice, animations and multimedia effects.

"Interactive tools that help patients do more for themselves and ask for the care they need add value to disease management return on investment," said Healthwise founder and CEO Donald W. Kemper. "DMAA's recognition of Healthwise Ix Conversations as the winner of its Outstanding Technology/Innovative Tool Award will help advance this new interactive technology into the mainstream of care support."

"The Ix Conversations team has a lot to be proud of with the DMAA's recognition," said Leslie Kelly Hall, Healthwise senior vice president of products. "We believe our high-engagement products, including Ix Conversations, set the standard for health care tools that personalize information and engage people to help them make better health decisions."

  • Geisinger Health Plan, for Outstanding Health Plan—Using a blend of chronic care, the medical home and patient-centered primary care, Geisinger Health Plan's Health Navigator contributed to a 12 percent decrease in acute admissions, an 11.7 percent decrease in readmissions and an 8 percent difference in medical cost trend for pilot sites versus non-Navigator sites in 2007.

"We have redesigned primary care to give each person a health care and support team to help manage their health anytime, anywhere," says Richard Gilfillan, MD, president and CEO for the Health Plan. "With additional resources from the Health Plan, each practice now has the ability to meet the common objective of delivering affordable, high-quality care for all of their Medicare patients. It is a coordinated care system for each individual that optimizes outcomes for all."

"We are honored and pleased with DMAA's recognition because it validates our belief that patient-centered primary care, when implemented as a partnership between the Health Plan and primary care practitioners, presents a real opportunity to improve patients' health," says the Health Plan's Vice President of Health Services Janet Tomcavage, RN.

  • Union Pacific Railroad, for Outstanding Employer Program—Through education and behavior modification, the Union Pacific HealthTrack program, which targets 10 risk factors-inactivity, weight, smoking, cholesterol, blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, fatigue, stress and depression-helps employees track and become vested in long-term health improvements.

"Union Pacific has chosen to look on health as a business issue that engages our employees to improve their own quality of life," said Barb Schaefer, senior vice-president, human resources, and corporate secretary for Union Pacific. "A healthy employee is a safe employee. By addressing the 10 risk factors, we identify areas of change necessary for a healthier lifestyle while impacting the safety of our workforce."

"Union Pacific's vision and long-term commitment to creating a healthy, safe work environment has led them to well-integrated health and safety programs," said Robert Stoner, vice president, Employer Payer Services at BTE Technologies, which is involved with Union Pacific's healthy and safe hiring initiatives. "They are a leader in their innovative approach to managing corporate health and wellness."

  • McKesson Health Solutions and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW), for Outstanding Provider Engagement Initiative—McKesson and the DPW used incentives to increase participation by providers and their patients in ACCESS Plus, a Medicaid disease management program that increased average monthly cholesterol testing rates among diabetics and medication adherence in asthma, coronary artery disease and heart failure populations.

"ACCESS Plus is one of those unique programs that highlights the best of what care management services can offer when a holistic approach is taken among the payer, provider and beneficiary," McKesson Health Solutions President Emad Rizk, MD, said. "By developing relationships with providers, including pay for participation, we've been able to align the chronic illness management program with the medical home, which benefits the beneficiary and the physician's office. This new payer/provider collaboration has produced a significant ROI in the program."

"The awardees we honor today have distinguished themselves as leaders in population-based approaches to preventing and managing chronic conditions," DMAA President and CEO Tracey Moorhead said. "Their contributions to the fight against chronic disease have made a lasting difference in so many lives."

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 and 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 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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