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Disease Management Protocols at Lehigh Valley PPO, Valley Preferred, Making A Difference
Date:1/12/2010

ALLENTOWN, Pa., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Physicians participating with Valley Preferred, a community-based preferred provider organization located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, are reducing usage of critical health care services by improving methods in which they manage disease -- and the results are notable. The results are based on managing populations of patients who have their health insurance coverage with a Valley Preferred payer partner.

"In today's world, we can lessen the dependence on health care," says Jack Lenhart, M.D., Valley Preferred's Medical Director. "There is an epidemic of increasing chronic disease, and better disease management and prevention are the best practices that yield the most positive results. Chronic diseases such as asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), congestive heart failure, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension and vascular disease must be actively targeted for prevention, and improved care by physicians and patients in order to combat the high costs of these diseases." Nationally, chronic diseases consume more than 70 percent of health care costs [Source: Institute of Medicine, www.iom.edu].

From 2006 to 2007, Valley Preferred reports reduced medical needs related to select chronic diseases as follows: a 25 percent decrease in hospital admissions; 44 percent decrease in hospital days; and a 33 percent decrease in 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.

Take diabetes control, for instance. T
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SOURCE Valley Preferred
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