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CBA's Innovative Program for Managing Depression Earns National Recognition
Date:11/13/2008

COLUMBIA, S.C., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Companion Benefit Alternatives Inc. (CBA), the largest manager of mental health and substance abuse treatment benefits in South Carolina, announced today that its Essential Solutions(SM) program is among 23 finalists in URAC's prestigious Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards competition.

URAC, a leading independent accrediting organization, received entries from across the nation.

Essential Solutions supports best practice management for the behavioral health disorders of patients seen in primary care. The program offers individualized disease management through continued, structured follow-up assessments and motivational interviewing.

CBA developed Essential Solutions to assist physicians in managing their patients' depression and to educate members on the disease and its treatment. Patients who enroll in the voluntary program are partnered with a CBA disease manager, who encourages them to develop self-monitoring and relapse-prevention skills, communicate with health care providers, and adhere to their physician's treatment plan.

"Recognition from URAC for our work in improving the delivery of mental health care, particularly in the area of depression, is gratifying," said Lynn Watts, CBA's director of clinical services. "It is evidence of our commitment to our ultimate customers, the members whose care is entrusted to us."

A distinguished panel, chaired by epidemiologist Thomas W. Wilson, Ph.D, DrPH, of Trajectory HealthCare, LLC, judged the entries. The 30-member panel included the best and most widely recognized experts in program evaluation, care coordination, health information technology, employer and purchaser decision-making, and patient safety. Finalists will be honored during the 2009 Best Practices Conference & Exhibit.

"The Best Practices Awards and Conference provide a unique opportunity for leaders in health care man
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SOURCE Companion Benefit Alternatives
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