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Alere Executives Present National Health Improvement Strategy to Congressional and Industry Leaders
Date:6/3/2009

Includes estimates that spending for chronic illnesses could be reduced by $17 billion through innovative care management.

ATLANTA, June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- As the Obama administration, Congressional leaders and industry groups weigh the costs and benefits of healthcare reform, Alere(R) has proposed a National Health Improvement Strategy that could save American businesses and health insurers tens of billions of dollars by focusing on the management of preventable health risks and chronic illness. Working in collaboration with providers, employers and health plans, Alere employs health information technology, home monitoring services, rapid diagnostic tools, clinical outreach, and health coaching to improve the health and wellbeing of patients with conditions such as heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes and cancer.

"Extending coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans is necessary, but this is not a sufficient goal for healthcare reform," said Alere CEO Ron Geraty, MD. "True reform also requires systemic changes that will dramatically improve the health of the nation and the value of the healthcare our citizens receive for the resources invested."

Geraty has presented Alere's proposals to key Congressional committees in recent weeks, and Alere's Executive Vice President, Ron Loeppke, MD, MPH., briefed members of Congress earlier this week on the benefits of workplace wellness and prevention strategies. Loeppke has conducted extensive research on the direct and indirect costs of chronic illness in the workplace, finding that the cost of health-related productivity losses exceed medical and pharmacy spending by a factor of more than 2.3 to 1.(1)

Loeppke's Congressional briefing was sponsored by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), where he is co-chairman of the Section on Health and Productivity, and he was joined by Pamela Hymel, MD, MPH, FACOEM, president of ACOEM and Corporate Medical Director of Integrated Health at Cisco Systems. Loeppke and Hymel will also present their recommendations and findings to health industry leaders at the annual conference of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) on June 5th in San Diego.

Based on research findings from their field-tested care management programs, Alere is urging Congressional and industry leaders to:

  • Make comprehensive, integrated health improvement a centerpiece of reform in order to achieve better outcomes of care for the resources invested and improved patient health and wellbeing.
  • Focus the healthcare system more on the management of preventable health risks and chronic illness, rather than on episodic visits, procedures, and treatments.
  • Encourage the broadest possible array of accountable care management approaches that will benefit patients and foster innovation, including both in-person care for individuals and "virtual" care coordination and health management of populations and individuals.

Chronic illnesses affect about one-half of the population - 133 million people - and cost $1.3 trillion annually in medical, pharmacy and hospitalization costs alone. Alere estimates that the nationwide application of its care management approach for patients with the most prevalent chronic conditions could produce annual net savings of at least $17 billion.

"Reforming the U.S. healthcare system is a clinical, moral and fiscal imperative," notes Geraty. "Our nation faces not just a crisis within the healthcare system, but more importantly a crisis in the health of our people. Chronic illnesses are needlessly disabling and killing people while costing businesses and our nation trillions of dollars. We must work together on many levels to solve this health and fiscal crisis."

For additional details on Alere's proposal for a National Health Improvement Strategy, including a white paper quantifying cost savings, please visit Alere's Press Room.

About Alere

Alere (www.alere.com) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Inverness Medical Innovations, Inc. (www.invernessmedical.com) (NYSE: IMA). Alere, a Latin verb, meaning "to care for" or "to support", offers the most patient-centered health management services available from a single provider in the industry. Alere(R) services provide health interventions that are designed for the entire lifespan from pre-cradle (high-risk pregnancy and NICU management) to end-of-life care (complex care) as well as the continuum of health from wellness (health and productivity programs) and prevention to total health management of the individual for those having various chronic illnesses.

(C) 2009 Inverness Medical. All rights reserved. Alere and Matria are trademarks of the Inverness Medical group of companies.

(1) Loeppke et al. "Health and Productivity as a Business Strategy: A Multiemployer Study," Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 51, No. 4, April 2009


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