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HealthPartners Reports 2007 Most Cost Effective Programs Reduce Expenses by $74 Million

Highlights include generic drug use, diagnostic imaging

BLOOMINGTON, Minn., Dec. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- HealthPartners reports that programs to improve the quality and efficiency of care reduced medical expenses by $74 million in 2007. Decision support for diagnostic imaging which HealthPartners introduced in February, reduced unnecessary tests by more than $3.5 million. The program provides physicians the latest guidelines from the American College of Radiology to confirm that a test is appropriate.

Generic drugs biggest cost savings

HealthPartners program to encourage generic drug use resulted in the most cost reductions in 2007. Nearly seven out of ten prescriptions (68 percent) for HealthPartners members are for generic drugs, a significant increase from 50 percent in 2004. Each one percent increase in generic drug use reduces costs for the health plan and members by $7 million.

"All of these programs help patients get the right care which is also the most cost effective care," said George Isham, M.D. HealthPartners chief health officer.

The programs that were the most cost effective include:

Program Reduced expenses

Asthma $2.7 million

Behavioral Health $7.6 million

Diabetes $2.7 million

Diagnostic imaging $3.6 million

Generic Drugs $31.1 million

Heart disease $6.9 million

Inpatient and complex case management $13.3 million

Rare and chronic diseases $6.1 million

Total $74 million

About HealthPartners

Founded in 1957, the HealthPartners ( family of health care companies serve more than one million medical and dental health plan members nationwide and is the largest consumer-governed, nonprofit health care organization in the nation, providing care, coverage, research and education to improve the health of members, patients and the community. For the third year in a row, HealthPartners is rated one of the best plans in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in association with The National Committee for Quality Assurance.

SOURCE HealthPartners
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