|DM Seen Making A Difference In Allentown
Disease management is making a dent in the Allentown,
Pa., area. Physicians participating with Valley Preferred, a
community-based PPO, are reducing usage of critical healthcare services
by improving methods in which they manage disease.
The results are based on managing populations of
patients who have their health insurance coverage with a Valley
Preferred payer partner.
"There is an epidemic of increasing chronic disease, and
better disease management and prevention are the best practices that
yield the most positive results," said Dr. Jack Lenhart, Valley
Preferred’s medical director.
Nationally, chronic diseases consume more than 70 percent of healthcare costs, according to the Institute of Medicine.
Because of the program, from 2006 to 2007 Valley
Preferred reported that it has reduced hospital admissions, hospital
days and emergency room visits.
Equally important was the corresponding 6 percent
decrease in the number of absences and 50 percent decrease in the
number of days absent on the job.
"Our strategy is not new, but more accountable
collaboration between patient and physician is making a difference,"
Lenhart said. "By being more accountable, by being in more
communication with their physicians, patients are taking their
prevention plans more seriously."
The health insurers understand the key to better overall
community health results can only be improved by working closely with
the medical community, said Gregory Kile, executive director and CEO of
Address: Valley Preferred, 1605 N. Cedar Crest Blvd., Suite 411, Allentown, PA 18104-2351; (610) 969-0480, www.valleypreferred.com.