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Alere's Dr. Gordon Norman Highlights Challenges and Promising Solutions to U.S. Healthcare System to International Health Insurance Executives
Date:4/29/2009

- Dr. Gordon Norman presents overview of US healthcare industry problems and solutions to attendees at International Federation of Health Plans Meeting in Boston

- Noted universal recognition that U.S. gets among the worst value for its healthcare investment

- Emphasized greater coordination of personalized care can help America address and resolve today's healthcare challenges

MARIETTA, Ga., April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Gordon Norman, M.D., executive vice president of Science and Innovation for Alere LLC, a leader in personal health support solutions, today presented insights into the U.S. health systems' challenges and offered promising solutions at the annual meeting of the International Federation of Health Plans (IFHP). The London-based organization, representing leading global health insurers, met in Boston April 28 - 29.

Representing some of the world's leading health insurers, attendees are in the U.S. to gather information about worldwide health challenges and to discover and share insights into best practices from other countries. Healthcare executives attending represent countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, South Africa, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands and Australia.

Norman noted that a key challenge in the coming decades will be addressing those health issues that are often undiagnosed and under-treated and that can easily spiral into high cost diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

"It's time to wake up and make significant changes to our approach in achieving better health," stated Norman. "Today's youth may be the first American generation to have lower longevity than their parents. What's more, our approach to healthcare is causing U.S. businesses to become less competitive as the health and wellness of human capital is not being adequately addressed."

Norman noted that aging baby boomers, as well as poor lifestyle choices increasingly prevalent among Americans, are only a few of the challenges facing the healthcare system. Poor care coordination, inadequate adherence to recognized clinical guidelines, greater health disparities between socio-economic groups and shortages of primary care physicians and nurses are also leading to lower levels of care and poorer outcomes.

"There is now universal recognition that the U.S. gets the worst value for its healthcare investment," said Norman. "What is equally troubling is that within a few short years, we may be unable to meet the healthcare needs of many of our sickest and neediest citizens."

According to Norman, Americans and the U.S. government appear to have a new sense of urgency with regards to reforming healthcare. He also noted that while it may take time to make changes, promising solutions are being implemented by many of the nation's health plans and employers.

Some of these changes include more effective and efficient management of chronic conditions, closely linking sites of care, expanding each person's care team and integrating technology with individual care plans. "We must also use personal health and electronic medical records to better connect people and providers, with a much greater emphasis on "person centric" healthcare models," said Norman.

For a copy of Norman's presentation or additional information, please contact Alere at alereinfo@alere.com.

Alere (www.alere.com) is a member of the Inverness Medical Innovations (www.invernessmedical.com) family of companies and represents the union of Alere Medical, ParadigmHealth and Matria Healthcare. 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.


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