AAPPO Launches ACT On Diabetes Initiative

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AAPPO is launching a new initiative to help PPO providers offer the highest quality care to those patients diagnosed with diabetes as well as encourage wellness efforts to prevent the disease.

An industry leader, AAPPO today kicked off its new ACT on Diabetes Initiative, which empowers AAPPO members to take Action, Champion better care, and empower their patients to Take charge of diabetes by providing tools and information to the over 1000 PPO providers nationwide.

"More than 7 percent of Americans currently are diagnosed with diabetes -- that's more than 21 million people," said AAPPO President Karen Greenrose. "This is a growing problem in our country, but one on which we as health-care providers can have a positive impact. With more than 158 million people enrolled in a PPO, our industry has a strong platform on which to reach a wide audience. As such, we are asking each of our members to take action to address diabetes."

Through the ACT on Diabetes program, AAPPO is providing education and tools to PPOs to help payers, physicians and other providers, and patients adopt best practices in diabetes care.

The ACT on Diabetes initiative will kick off with a series of conference calls for AAPPO members focused on diabetes care and prevention best practices. The calls will be moderated by Dexter Shurney, M.D., MPH, MBA and chief medical officer for Healthways -- a leading provider of Health and Care Support(SM) services, including nationally recognized diabetes disease management programs and diabetes centers of excellence for hospitals.

"Diabetes has a major impact on individuals diagnosed with the disease as well as on their families, their employers, the providers who treat them and on society at large," Shurney said. "We are collaborating with AAPPO to help put the right tools and information about what works to improve diabetes care and the health of those diagnosed with the disease into the hands of PPO leaders. This will help PPOs develop the best and most effective programs to improve the health of people with diabetes and, as a result, reduce associated health-care costs"

AAPPO also plans to develop a toolkit for PPO leaders. The toolkit will include information and resources that can be adopted by PPOs to improve diabetes quality of care. For example, the toolkit will include model diabetes quality improvement strategies for PPOs, links to web sites that can help consumers, and information on talking with employers on health care benefit design strategies that improve access to diabetes services.

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Conference call topics will include:

-- The Importance Of Diabetes: Prevalence and Impact

-- Best Practices in Care Management: Diabetes Identification, Care, Outcomes Measurement

-- The Impact of Diabetes on Employers: Calculating Health and Productivity Costs

-- Using Information Technology and the Web to Reach and Change Patients

-- Effective Strategies for Working with Patients

-- Talking with Employers / Payers about Benefit Design

-- Getting Providers Involved -- the Diabetes Physician Recognition Program

"PPOs must take action to address this urgent problem," Greenrose said. "Our PPO members can develop programs, provide web information to providers and consumers and talk with payers about benefit design. Insurers, providers and patients must be engaged in improving diabetes care in order to have an impact on this disease -- we all must ACT on Diabetes today."

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