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Cultivating the Smart Patient: Author and RealAge Founder Michael F. Roizen, MD to Present Keynote at URAC Conference

Roizen will give a provider's perspective on empowered consumers at Best Practices Conference and Exhibit March 25-26, 2008

WASHINGTON, March 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Most of the discussion surrounding health care reform excludes one important stakeholder -- the patient. Yet patients wield enormous potential power for changing an onerous health care system.

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Empowering consumers to become "smart patients" will be the main message behind the keynote address by Michael F. Roizen, M.D. at URAC's Best Practices in Consumer Empowerment and Protection Conference and Exhibit, March 25-26, 2008 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando.

"Consumer empowerment and protection are hallmarks of URAC's accreditation standards," said Alan P. Spielman, URAC's president and CEO. "Health care management organizations are in a position to lead the industry to better educate consumers in health care quality and best practices so they can become 'smart patients' who are engaged and proactive in their own health care."

The first-of-its-kind conference will spotlight winning entries in the Best Practices Awards competition. Winners of the competition represent the nation's top programs in health care management, pharmacy benefit management, health plans and health information technology. The competition and conference are an effort to advance best practices as they spotlight programs that are consumer-focused and that promote patient safety.

Roizen is the creator of RealAge, Inc., a consumer-health media company and provider of personalized health information and management tools designed to motivate health conscious people to look, feel, and "live life to the youngest." He is author of several books, his most recent being the number two New York Times bestseller, You: The Smart Patient. Roizen is also author of the number one New York Times bestsellers YOU: On A Diet, and YOU: Staying Young. Roizen is a highly-regarded double board certified internist and anesthesiologist, serving as chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.

Roizen said health plans and health management organizations have an important role to play as they help providers communicate with and motivate their patients to become more involved in their own health care.

"Part of the job for the health plan is to teach physicians how to teach the patient," Roizen said. "Health plans should also be fostering the best wellness techniques and practices, and educating physicians as to why those techniques and practices are the best."

Roizen said understanding human nature and using effective communication techniques is key to reaching the patient.

"Roughly 40 percent of health care costs now are related to three unhealthy behaviors -- tobacco use, physical inactivity and poor food choices," he said. "But what motivates people to quit isn't saying 'you're going to die if you don't stop smoking, or eating saturated fat, or start to exercise.' What motivates people is that they can look younger, have fewer wrinkles or get sexier if they change."

Roizen will present "The Smart Patient: A Provider's Perspective on Consumer Empowerment," Wednesday, March 26 from 9 to 10:15 a.m. To register for the Best Practices in Consumer Empowerment and Protection Conference and Exhibit, go to

About URAC

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is well-known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation and education programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system, and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, visit

CONTACT: Karla Hurter

Phone: (703)319-0957

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