LifeMasters Improves Health of Medicare and Medicaid Recipients in Florida

Tuesday, September 2, 2008 General News
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IRVINE, Calif., Sept. 2 Medicare recipients participatingin a large-scale disease management program in south Florida have experiencedimprovements in managing serious conditions like diabetes and congestive heartfailure (CHF), according to research by LifeMasters Supported Self Care, Inc.to be released at the DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance's annual Forum 08 onSept. 7 and 8 in Hollywood, Fla.

A national provider of health improvement services, LifeMasters is workingwith the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on a demonstrationproject in multiple counties designed to measure the effectiveness of adisease management program in a Medicare fee-for-service population. Theprogram is available to beneficiaries who are eligible for both Medicare andMedicaid and who have congestive heart failure (CHF) or any combination ofCHF, diabetes and coronary heart disease.

Results show that the number of individuals actively participating in theprogram has steadily increased as new recruitment strategies have beenincorporated. This increase in participation has led to greater healthimprovements the longer these individuals remain in the program. The goal isto ultimately reduce the number of hospitalizations and overall healthcarecosts.

"LifeMasters has worked successfully with CMS to develop creative andinnovative interventions to help a group of people facing a difficult set ofcircumstances," said LifeMasters CEO Christobel Selecky, who will bepresenting the results. "We have experienced improvements in enrollmentsurpassing our own projections. We know that the longer individuals stay in adisease management program, the greater the improvements in their health."

LifeMasters nurses work with participants over the phone and in theirhomes to help manage their conditions. They may check vitals, reviewmedication dosages, or help the participant track weight and glucose levels-- critical information that will be shared with the participant's physician.The nurses also have the training to identify those individuals who havedifficulty fulfilling basic needs such as food, shelter, or safety and connectthem with community resources.

In February 2008, LifeMasters received an extension from CMS of thedemonstration project. Medicare determines eligibility and who mayparticipate in the program using a randomized control design. The program isprovided in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Marion, Volusia, Seminole, andAlachua for those beneficiaries who are eligible to participate and is offeredas part of the beneficiaries' existing healthcare coverage at no additionalcost.

About LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc.

LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc. is a leading provider of healthimprovement and condition management programs and services that create healthpartnerships among individuals and their physicians. The programs improve thequality of care for populations with risk factors and chronic conditions andreduce healthcare cost trends for the nation's leading health plans,employers, retirement systems, labor unions/trusts and governmentalorganizations. LifeMasters offers programs for individuals with diabetes,congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, chronic obstructivepulmonary disease, hypertension and asthma, cancer, depression, metabolicsyndrome and musculo-skeletal pain. LifeMasters' programs are holisticallyfocused, support co-morbidities like depression, and facilitate lifestylechanges such as smoking cessation and weight loss. LifeMasters is accreditedby the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and URAC. Moreinformation can be found at http://innovation.lifemasters.com.

Media Contact: Abbie Pauley412-926-7093 apauley@lifemasters.comAvailable Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), clickappropriate link.Christobel Seleckyhttps://profnet


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