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Highmark's SMART(TM) Registry Reports Aid the Chronically Ill
Date:7/29/2008

PITTSBURGH, July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Studies show that regular monitoring of medications by physicians is an effective way to improve a patient's quality of health. Thanks to recent advances in the SMART Registry, physicians are now getting all sorts of information about their patients that they never received before.

Highmark will provide physicians with reports that show how regularly their chronically ill patients fill their prescriptions.

"Improving patient adherence to medications is one of the most critical areas in improving the quality of health of our members," said Highmark's Dr. Michael E. Madden, medical director of medical performance management. "We're confident these new reports offered this fall as part of our SMART(TM) Registry program will help initiate a conversation between patients and their physicians about the importance of taking medications and overcoming barriers that may prevent them from doing so."

Through the SMART Registry, Highmark has been sharing claims data with family practice, internal medicine and general practice primary care physicians since 2003 in an effort to identify potential treatment gaps for their Highmark patients with such chronic conditions as diabetes, congestive heart failure or coronary artery disease. For instance, the report can quickly reveal which Highmark patients with diabetes need a blood test or an eye exam.

More than 2,700 primary care physicians are currently using the SMART Registry to monitor the health of more than 255,000 Highmark members. Results for SMART Registry will be measured by tracking changes in clinical indicators and reviewing feedback from physicians and their provider surveys.

Physicians receive SMART Registry reports twice per year either via paper or on CD format. They include space to indicate where a particular treatment has been provided. In addition, it highlights trends among Highmark's network physicians for treating patients with specific conditions and identifies opportunities to improve a physician's overall approach to care. There is also a physician comparison report, which shows a particular physician practice how it compares to its peers for ensuring patients receive certain tests and treatments. Now there will be a report indicating whether patients are regularly taking their prescription medications.

If individuals are interested in learning how the SMART Registry program can play a role in supporting physician practices, call the Blues On Call Physician Support Line at 1-866-348-3504.

About Health Dialog

Health Dialog is a leading provider of health support services and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bupa, a global provider of health care services. Health Dialog helps physician groups, health plans, government agencies, and self-insured employers improve health care quality while reducing overall costs. The firm's support activities include analytic services (including predictive modeling), telephonic an online Health Coaching for a broad spectrum of conditions (with special emphasis on chronic conditions), healthy lifestyle initiatives, and a wide variety of other types of support for individuals, payers and physicians. The goal of the various support activities is to help individuals develop relationships that are more effective with their physicians. For more information about Health Dialog, please visit their Website at http://www.HealthDialog.com.

Health Dialog is an independent company that does provide Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield products. Health Dialog is solely responsible for the products and services described in this press release.

About Highmark

As one of the leading health insurers in Pennsylvania, Highmark Inc.'s mission is to provide access to affordable, quality health care enabling individuals to live longer, healthier lives. Based in Pittsburgh, Highmark serves 4.6 million people through the company's health care benefits business. Highmark contributes millions of dollars to help keep quality health care programs affordable and to support community-based programs that work to improve people's health. Highmark exerts an enormous economic impact throughout Pennsylvania. A recent study states that Highmark's positive impact exceeded $2.5 billion. The company provides the resources to give its members a greater hand in their health.

Highmark Inc. is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. For more information, visit http://www.highmark.com.


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SOURCE Highmark Inc.
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