LifeMasters Expands Disease Management Offerings to Include Innovative Stand-Alone Depression Program as Part of Its Strategic Growth Initiatives

Monday, May 19, 2008 General News
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IRVINE, Calif. and MINNEAPOLIS, May 19 Following a recentround of financing, LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc., a national leadingprovider of health improvement programs and services, today announced that itwill expand its disease management offerings to include a new depressionprogram focused on providing support to diagnosed and undiagnosed individualswith depression. As part of the initial roll out, Preferred One Health Plan inMinnesota is offering the new depression program to its members.

"Depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American adults ayear and studies are increasingly linking depression to chronic conditionssuch as diabetes and heart disease," said Marcus Merz, president and CEO atPreferred One. "We decided to add the LifeMasters depression program to ourhealth improvement offerings because we believe treating depression along withchronic conditions will best benefit our clients."

Given that the burden of depression as a single or co-morbid disease statecontinues to grow, LifeMasters determined its participants could benefitgreatly from offering a depression program. In 2006, LifeMasters pilot-testeda telephonically delivered depression symptom support intervention based on aclinically proven model from a leading university. The new LifeMasters programincorporates the learning from that pilot and extends the tested model to amore robust set of interventions. The LifeMasters program provides support forthe identification of depression, behavioral activation to counteractsymptoms, pharmacotherapy support, and depression relapse-prevention throughself-care. Preferred One is one of six health plans in Minnesota working withover 100 physicians to test an intervention for patients with depression thatevaluates how a healthcare provider case manager team backed by a psychiatristbetter supports patients with depression. LifeMasters has structured itsdepression program as a telephonic support program to expand upon thisconcept.

Preferred One program participants work with a specially trained nurse orhealth educator who is supported by behavioral health specialists and case-supervised by a licensed psychiatrist with expertise in adult depression.

Participant-focused and holistic, the LifeMasters depression programtargets both participants' emotional and clinical needs. While not aiming totreat or cure depression directly, it seeks to support the patient andphysician in treating the condition with a focus on improving quality of life,and increasing productivity for the participant while reducing the economicburden of depression for the clients.

"As part of our strategic growth initiatives, we are committed toexpanding our offerings to deliver programs that have the greatest impact,"said Christobel Selecky, CEO of LifeMasters. "Our innovative depressionprogram is designed to provide tangible results for the participant, theirphysicians and our clients. We are delighted to introduce this importantprogram to Preferred One members."

About LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc.

LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc. is a leading provider of healthpromotion and disease management programs and services that create healthpartnerships among individuals, their physicians and payors. Its mission is toempower individuals to achieve and maintain optimal health. The programsimprove quality of care for people with risk factors and chronic conditions,reduce healthcare cost trends for payors and provide decision-support toolsand information for physicians. LifeMasters offers programs for individualswith diabetes, congestive heart failure (CHF), coronary artery disease (CAD),chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hypertension and asthma (all ofwhich are fully accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance(NCQA) and URAC), cancer, metabolic syndrome and musculo-skeletal pain.LifeMasters'

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