When coaches and physicians communicate with each other and coordinate care, participants achieve better health outcomes.
Irvine, Calif. (Vocus) December 9, 2008
New research from LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc. shows that physicians who receive our Health Alerts, which provide real-time information on changes in the clinical status of their patients, responded quickly to the results with treatment plan course corrections more than 85% of the time.
LifeMasters is a health improvement company with more than 14 years experience in building relationships between physicians and their patients. Its programs are designed to reinforce evidence-based guidelines with the goal of reducing the number of preventable hospitalizations and emergency room visits over time.
When a LifeMasters participant experiences a change in health status in between doctor visits, the participant's physician is immediately notified through the Health Alert, which includes information on vital signs, medical history, medications and current health status. This gives the physician the opportunity to intervene early to avoid exacerbations and make corrections in the treatment plan as necessary.
Research based on more than 104,000 Health Alerts by LifeMasters between January 2005 and March 2008 shows that between 97 to 98% of all follow-up activities by the physicians occurred within 15 days of the Alert being sent. An average of almost 60% of follow up occurred within 2 days of the alert being sent. The number rises to 87% when extended to 5 days.
"Our unique and proprietary Health Alert offers an effective strategy to engage physicians in our disease management program, which also improves the quality of care and return on investment," said Christobel Selecky, CEO of LifeMasters. "When coaches and physicians communicate with each other and coordinate care, participants achieve better health outcomes."
The most common conditions to generate alerts were congestive heart failure, diabetes, coronary artery disease and cancer. The most common reasons for the alerts include medication discrepancy, chest pain, generalized pain, shortness of breath, hyper and hypoglycemia, weight gain and edema. LifeMasters found that over the 39-month period, program participants received the following interventions ordered by their physicians directly as a result of the Health Alerts:
Saw physician in office - 52%
Had a lab test - 12%
Seen in the ER - 7%
Admitted to the hospital - 4%
Started on a new medication - 11%
Medication dosage changed - 6%
Other medication change - 2%
Other new instructions from the physician - 17%
The Health Alert is automatically compiled by LifeMasters' proprietary information technology system that constantly tracks hundreds of clinical indicators obtained through biometric monitoring, claims data and nurse assessments against thresholds derived from evidence-based, national guidelines. "Out of bounds" events are triaged by a nurse to determine which can be acted upon by the physician because they are related to important clinical changes rather than behavioral changes, which are handled by LifeMasters nurses and coaches.
The Health Alert can also be an important part of pay-for-performance or medical home strategies that organizations may be contemplating.
About LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc.
LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc. is a leading provider of health improvement and condition management programs and services that create health partnerships among individuals and their physicians. The programs improve the quality of care for populations with risk factors and chronic conditions and reduce healthcare cost trends for the nation's leading health plans, employers, retirement systems, labor unions/trusts and governmental organizations. LifeMasters offers programs for individuals with diabetes, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, asthma, cancer, depression and musculo-skeletal pain. LifeMasters' programs are holistically focused, support co-morbidities like depression, and facilitate lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation and weight loss. LifeMasters is accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and URAC. More information can be found at innovation.lifemasters.com.
Media Contact: Abbie Pauley
apauley at lifemasters dot com