Wellness, Chronic Disease Care Leaders Honored at DMAA Annual Meeting
SAN DIEGO—At its annual meeting Sept. 21 and 22, DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance presented industry awards to five leaders in programs and research to promote health, improve quality and lower costs in chronic disease prevention and care.
"The success of health care reform will hinge on how we meet the challenge of chronic conditions," DMAA President and CEO Tracey Moorhead said. "Our 2009 Leadership Awards winners demonstrate how coordinated care based on the best available evidence can have the lasting, positive impact we seek."
Recipients of this year's Leadership Awards, which recognize outstanding achievements in and contributions to the science and practice of population-based care, include:
• Leadership Award for Outstanding Employer Program: Beaumont Hospitals
Beaumont Hospitals' myOptimalHealth program, available to 40,000 employees and dependents, integrates onsite programs with health coaching by Health Dialog and online tools from WebMD. The program has improved clinical indicators for members with chronic conditions and reduced average costs 4.8 percent.
"Beaumont is truly honored to be recognized by DMAA for our myOptimalHealth program," said Program Manager Susan Bailey, MS, CHES, IC. "Watching this program grow and achieve such strong results in employee health status and cost savings has been the result of hard work and dedication. We thank DMAA for this Leadership Award."
Health Dialog CEO Patrick Flynn said, "Giving employees the tools and information they need to improve their health has made a real impact on the Beaumont community. We are proud to play a role in delivering such a helpful and positive employee experience."
• Leadership Award for Outstanding Government Program: Missouri Department of Social Services MO HealthNet Chronic Care Improvement Program
This program provides health and wellness services for 130,000 Medicaid fee-for-service, aged, blind and disabled participants with specific gateway diseases. Coordinated by APS Healthcare, the program has increased treatment adherence rates for chronically ill participants and generated $157 million in annual cost reductions.
"We're very proud of the impact our partnership with APS Healthcare--through the Chronic Care Improvement Program--has had in Missouri," said George L. Oestreich, PharmD, MPA, MO HealthNet Deputy Division Director, Clinical Services. "Not only have we worked to improve care quality and patient outcomes, promote healthful behaviors and optimize MO HealthNet expenditures, but we also have created savings for taxpayers by treating chronically ill MO HealthNet participants."
• Leadership Award for Outstanding Provider Engagement Initiative: Vanderbilt Primary Care Group, Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt Primary Care Group implemented ActiveHealth's CareEngine System in 2007 to improve compliance with evidence-based best practices through physician clinical alerts integrated into the medical record by nurses. The innovative approach significantly increased compliance with alerts--from 50 percent to 95 percent, in some cases--and lowered costs.
"We are proud of our success in bringing providers into the disease management process in our work with ActiveHealth," said William Gregg, MD, MS, MPH, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "Through intelligent use of technology and an understanding of provider workflow and process, we can all achieve our common goal of improving care and reducing cost. In the end, the patient is the real winner. We are honored to receive recognition for this work from DMAA."
• Outstanding Journal Article: Ronald Loeppke, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President, Health and Productivity Strategy, Alere
"Health and Productivity as a Business Strategy: A Multiemployer Study," published in The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, April 2009, explored methodological refinements in measuring health-related lost productivity and assessed the business implications of a full-cost approach to managing health. The Alere study found health-related productivity costs significantly exceed medical and pharmacy costs.
"The goal of the article was to highlight to employers important facts they may be missing as they seek to build better health and wellness programs," Dr. Loeppke said. "U.S. employers today are significantly underestimating the overall costs associated with poor employee health, while also failing to fully assess the illnesses and health conditions that drive these costs. It's our hope that this article, as well as recognition from distinguished organizations such as DMAA, will help employers better understand the true economic burden of chronic illnesses and health risks and guide them to integrated health improvement strategies."
• Outstanding Technology/Innovative Tool: Kaiser Permanente Collaborative Cardiac Care Service
Kaiser Permanente care teams in Colorado tackled coronary artery disease by creating a new electronic care registry and support program called the Collaborative Cardiac Care Service, utilizing KP HealthConnect, a comprehensive health information system that includes one of the most advanced electronic medical records available. The program reduced overall mortality by 76 percent and cardiac mortality by 73 percent.
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About DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance
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.