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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Extends LifeMasters Demonstration Project in Florida

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc., a national provider of health improvement services, announced that it has received an extension from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of its disease management demonstration project in Florida. The project, which aims to measure the effectiveness of a disease management program in a typically underserved population, focuses on dually eligible fee for service beneficiaries (Medicare/Medicaid) in seven counties who have congestive heart failure (CHF) as a primary diagnosis or any combination of CHF, diabetes and/or coronary heart disease.

"LifeMasters' preliminary analysis of the program data has demonstrated that we have improved clinical outcomes showing cost effectiveness to Medicare for what is typically a very difficult to manage population. This extension allows us to continue to provide these much-needed services to beneficiaries in Florida while continuing to work collaboratively with CMS to continuously improve our interventions," said Christobel E. Selecky, President and CEO of LifeMasters.

A unique aspect of the project is the company's holistic approach to ensure a beneficiary's life situation is addressed as well as their health status. LifeMasters engages one-on-one with each participant to "meet them where they are" to ensure the best possible outcomes. While telephonic outreach is often used, the program also provides dedicated community-based nurses and social workers who meet with some of the beneficiaries with more complex needs in their homes to help them learn how to better manage their health.

"The nurses, whether in the home or on the phone, recognize that for some participants, dealing with underlying life issues can be as important as, if not more important than, addressing medical problems," said Selecky. "While helping our participants improve their selfcare skills is a primary goal of the program, our nurses have the training and resources to identify those participants that have difficulty fulfilling basic needs such as food, shelter, safety and security and link them with community resources to remove those issues as barriers to success."

The contract extension was effective January 2008. Medicare determines eligibility and who may participate in the program using a randomized control design. The program is provided in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Marion, Volusia, Seminole, and Alachua for those beneficiaries who are eligible to participate and is offered as part of the beneficiaries' existing healthcare coverage at no additional cost.

About LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc.

LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc. is a leading provider of health promotion and disease management programs and services that create health partnerships among individuals, their physicians and payors. Its mission is to empower individuals to achieve and maintain optimal health. The programs improve quality of care for people with risk factors and chronic conditions, reduce healthcare cost trends for payors and provide decision-support tools and information for physicians. LifeMasters offers programs for individuals with diabetes, congestive heart failure (CHF), coronary artery disease (CAD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hypertension and asthma (all of which are fully accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and URAC), cancer, metabolic syndrome and musculo-skeletal pain. LifeMasters' programs are holistically focused, support co-morbidities such as depression and facilitate lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation and weight loss.

Founded in 1994 by a physician, LifeMasters works with some of the nation's leading health plans, employers, retirement systems and governmental organizations, including Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, and Presbyterian Health Services in New Mexico. More information about LifeMasters can be found at or by calling 1-800-777-1307.

Media Contact: Barbara Gideon

(650) 829-5287

SOURCE LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc.
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