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October 15, 2010

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

Care Continuum Alliance Honors Seven for Outstanding Contributions to Wellness, Care Management

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Care Continuum Alliance this week honored programs and published research for exceptional contributions to wellness, prevention and care management during the past year.

The Care Continuum Alliance Leadership Awards and Quality Impact Awards, which the organization presented its annual meeting, in Washington, D.C., recognize industry leaders for their work to promote health, reduce health risks and raise the quality of care, particularly for people with or at risk of chronic conditions.

"Our 2010 award winners clearly demonstrate how evidence-based wellness and care management programs improve health care," Care Continuum Alliance President and CEO Tracey Moorhead said. "They're outstanding examples of the value population health management adds across all states of health and health care settings."

Winners recognized at the Oct. 13 to 15 annual meeting, The Forum 10, were:

Outstanding Employer Program—Navistar Inc., which used prevention programs and benefit design changes to reduce medical claims by 8 percent and pharmacy claims by 20 percent over three years, lower workers compensation and disability claims by 38 percent from 2002 to 2008 and cut controlled absenteeism by nearly half.

"Evidence-based wellness programs are a key element of Navistar's sustainable approach to health care management," said Dr. William B. Bunn III, Navistar vice president for Health, Safety, Security and Productivity. "We've found that helping employees maintain a healthy lifestyle is inherently sustainable because it minimizes absenteeism, improves productivity, and keeps health care costs manageable for the company and employees alike."

Outstanding Government Program—Vermont Chronic Care Initiative (VCCI), established by the Department of Vermont Health Access, mitigated the impact of chronic conditions and increased medication adherence among Medicaid beneficiaries with one or more chronic conditions.

"Vermont is proud to be recognized for our efforts by the Care Continuum Alliance," said Vermont Governor Jim Douglas. "The Vermont Chronic Care Initiative is central to our efforts to improve the lives of Vermonters, while controlling health care costs."

Outstanding Innovative Use of Technology—Cisco Systems Inc., for its HealthConnections program, a health information technology initiative credited with a 28 percent decrease in inpatient admissions, a 13.3 percent reduction in health risk and total estimated health care and productivity savings of $2.7 million.

"Cisco has invested in engaging our employees and their family members in taking care of their health," the company said. "Our access to a personal health assessment tool, with connections to health coaches, online education and condition management has been instrumental in connecting our employees to new ways to be proactive about their health."

Outstanding Journal Article—"Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings," published in Health Affairs, February 2010. This critical meta-analysis of the literature on costs and savings associated with workplace health promotion found that medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs and that absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent.

"Employer-based wellness initiatives may not only improve health, but may result in substantial savings over even short-run horizons," said Katherine Baicker, a professor of health economics at the Harvard School of Public Health and the study's lead author. "Understanding the factors that make them most successful and the barriers to their wider adoption could help develop this promising avenue for improving health and productivity."

Outstanding Journal Article—"Outcomes and Lessons Learned from Evaluating TRICARE's Disease Management Programs," published in The American Journal of Managed Care, June 2010. This study of the military's health plan found reduced inpatient days and medical costs, improved medication and testing adherence and cost savings among participants with asthma, congestive heart failure and diabetes.

"TRICARE is committed to improving the health of our patients while responsibly managing the cost of health care," said Rear Adm. Christine Hunter, Deputy Director, TRICARE Management Activity. "This important study demonstrates the added value of disease management programs for TRICARE patients with chronic conditions. We congratulate the authors on receiving this significant and well-deserved award."

Outstanding Provider Engagement Initiative—Wyoming Healthy Together Health Management program, which serves 80,000 Medicaid participants. Accomplishments in 2009 included 93 percent of primary care providers participating; 98 percent provider satisfaction; and increased referrals for high-risk, high-cost members for diabetes (33 percent), hypertension (47 percent), depression (22 percent) and obesity (14 percent).

"Healthy Together has been an important step toward better care for our patients and efficient use of our Medicaid resources," said Teri Green, state Medicaid agent. "We have been pleased to increase referrals to the program through the pay-for-participation program."

Quality Impact Award: Greatest Impact on Health—Kaiser Permanente's ALL (Aspirin, Lisinopril and Lipid-Lowering Medication) initiative and PHASE (Preventing Heart Attacks and Strokes Everyday) program have been key factors in the success of Kaiser's cardiovascular risk reduction program. A June 2010 New England Journal of Medicine-published study found the program reduced heart attacks by 24 percent and the relative incidence of serious heart attacks that do permanent damage by 62 percent.

"Kaiser Permanente is proud to receive the Quality Impact Award for Greatest Impact on Health for our ALL/PHASE program," said Winston Wong, MD, medical director, Community Benefit, Disparities Improvement and Quality Initiatives. "Kaiser Permanente is committed to the utilization of evidence-based medicine, and the ALL/PHASE protocol has proven itself to be a stellar example of what that means."

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About the Care Continuum Alliance

The Care Continuum Alliance convenes all stakeholders providing services along the continuum of care for population health improvement, including health and wellness promotion, chronic care management and care coordination. Through advocacy, research and promotion of best practices, the Care Continuum Alliance advances population-based strategies to improve care quality and outcomes and reduce preventable costs for individuals with and at risk of chronic conditions. The Care Continuum Alliance represents more than 200 corporate and individual stakeholders, including wellness and care management organizations, pharmaceutical manufacturers and benefits managers, health information technology and biotechnology innovators, employers, hospitals, physicians, nurses and other health care professionals, and researchers and academics. Learn more at www.carecontinuum.org.

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