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Lehigh Valley-Based PPO, Valley Preferred, Reports Marked Improvement in Disease Management & Wellness Outcomes
Date:2/24/2009

72 percent decrease in hospital admissions; 77 percent decrease in hospital days; and a 42 percent decrease in ER visits. Equally important, and a related health benefit, was the 48 percent decrease in the number of absences and 57 percent decrease in number of days absent on the job. These results have become the ideal because the chronic diseases that consume more than 70 percent of health care costs [Source: Institute of Medicine, www.iom.edu] have been actively targeted for prevention and improved care by the 3,600 physicians affiliated with Valley Preferred. Those chronic diseases are asthma, congestive heart failure, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension and vascular disease.

Valley Preferred offers health management programs for enrollees with chronic conditions. Key elements of the program are utilization review, case management, disease management, and health education and wellness programs. These programs are tailored to each employer's needs and include on-site health and wellness education, corporate health fairs, health seminars, employee assistance programs, health screenings and health awareness profiles. This preventive focus makes the difference by improving health among member populations.

"In today's world, we cannot build a direct link from controlling disease and promoting health management to less cost, but we can lessen the dependence on health care," says Jack Lenhart, M.D., Valley Preferred's Medical Director. "We feel strongly that we are 'lifting all boats,' including quality of care, and quality of life. There is an epidemic of increasing chronic disease out there and better disease management and prevention are the best practices that yield the most positive results."

"Valley Preferred's physicians are engaged in a self-auditing program that measures outcomes on a per patient basis," explains Dr. Lenhart. "Each physician reviews and re
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SOURCE Valley Preferred
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