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CareOregon and Health Integrated Partner to Enhance Services for Oregonians with Chronic Illness
Date:3/25/2009

Health plan to leverage Health Integrated's Synergy Targeted Population Management(R) program to reduce healthcare costs while improving health for Medicaid subscribers

PORTLAND, Ore. and TAMPA, Fla., March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- CareOregon, a non-profit health plan that provides Medicaid and Medicare managed care services for Oregonians, and Health Integrated, the leading Targeted Population Health Management company, are partnering to improve the health and quality of life for CareOregon's members with diabetes and depression.

Health Integrated, which is focused on understanding and addressing the critical interplay between medical and psychosocial health, recently received accreditation for exceeding the nation's highest performance standards in seven disease areas, including diabetes and depression. CareOregon will use Health Integrated's Synergy Targeted Population Management(R) program to provide coaching, education and support to enhance its management of diabetes and depression among its member population while reducing avoidable healthcare utilization and costs.

"We're dedicated to providing healthcare access for Oregonians who are most at risk," says David Ford, chief executive officer of CareOregon. "We have an extensive CareSupport effort that uses a team approach to support members' behavioral and psychological health along with their physical conditions as part of a whole-patient approach. By partnering with Health Integrated, we can expand our work in a couple of key health areas. We believe the Synergy program will help us to further empower members to take charge of their own health, supporting our vision of healthy Oregonians regardless of income or social circumstances."

Chronic illness is a serious problem in the U.S., affecting 140 million Americans -- many of whom also suffer from psychological conditions or social challenges. A disproportionate percentage of Medicaid patients suffer from these conditions. Chronically ill patients, including those with depression or diabetes, are clinically complex and often struggle with intense psychological or behavioral factors that exacerbate medical conditions and increase care costs through avoidable and inappropriate healthcare utilization.

"CareOregon is an innovative plan and a leader nationally in advancing the patient-centered medical home through its primary care renewal initiative," says Sam Toney, vice chairman and chief medical officer at Health Integrated. "We are thrilled to work with a group that understands how to integrate treatment approaches that address the whole patient, including a member's physical, behavioral and psychosocial issues."

Together, Health Integrated and CareOregon will provide services that will "motivate members to become more knowledgeable about their conditions, to follow treatment recommendations more closely, to establish and achieve their health goals and to become more productive in their daily lives and in the workplace," Toney says.

The Synergy program includes a specially trained healthcare clinician -- a dedicated care coach -- who will develop a personalized coaching plan built around an individual's specific needs. The coach assists the members in setting goals related to their health conditions and well-being and provides tools to help individuals achieve those goals. In addition, the coach helps the individual identify and remove psychosocial or behavioral barriers to pursuing the care plan, and encourages patients to clearly communicate with their physicians and follow their treatment plans.

CareOregon will offer this program to all plan members with diabetes and depression at no additional charge to the member.

CareOregon provides Medicaid managed care services to more than 100,000 Oregon Health Plan members, and Medicare Advantage to approximately 5,300 elderly or disabled Oregonians.

About CareOregon

CareOregon is committed to improving and protecting the health of low-income and vulnerable Oregonians. The not-for-profit organization is dedicated to providing access to high-quality, cost-effective, culturally competent care for members and supporting the providers who care for them. For more information about CareOregon, visit http://www.careoregon.org.

About Health Integrated

Health Integrated is a Targeted Population Health Management company dedicated to integrating health with life. Driven by a strong entrepreneurial culture, Health Integrated addresses the critical interplay between physical, psychological and social health. Working with healthcare providers, health plans and their members, Health Integrated drives improvements in health status, quality of life and clinical outcomes while reducing avoidable utilization and healthcare costs. For more information, visit http://www.healthintegrated.com.

    CONTACT:

    Mike Miniati, Health Integrated
    813-388-4030 or mminiati@healthintegrated.com

    Jeanie Lunsford, CareOregon
    503-703-5260 or lunsfordj@careoregon.org

This release was issued through eReleases(TM). For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com.


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SOURCE Health Integrated
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