National Council on Aging, Humana pilot online disease management program

By Diana Manos
10:46 AM

The National Council on Aging and Humana Inc.’s Humana Cares have announced they will partner to pilot Stanford University’s online Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP).

This is the first time that the Stanford online self-management workshops have been offered as part of a chronic care management solution by a national health insurer, the groups announced in a written statement April 12.

One hundred Humana members throughout the United States will participate in the online workshops that focus on better managing the problems common to those suffering from any chronic condition, such as heart disease, arthritis, stroke or diabetes, according to the news release.

[See also: Chronic illness technology fuels provider utilization.]

"Stanford’s approach aligns perfectly with our goal of helping our members attain the best quality of life possible," said Jean Bisio, Humana Cares president. "It’s a truly interactive program designed to help people be more engaged in managing their own health, and benefit from interacting with others who also live with chronic illness every day.

"In the original trial, after six months, CDSMP participants reported many significant improvements in their health, including increased energy, decreased disability, fewer hospitalizations, and better communication with their physicians," she added.

According to the groups, Stanford’s CDSMP has been proven through more than 20 years of development and research supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

During the six-week workshops, members are equipped with proven practical skills to help them manage their conditions over the long-term. They participate in self-management activities, including proper diet, exercise, appropriate use of medications, symptom management and enhanced communication with their doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals.

[See also: Humana acquires healthcare analytics company Anvita Health.]

"Harnessing the power of self-management will improve health and save money, and we thank Humana Cares for piloting this program as part of its approach to improving the health and reducing the cost of care for people with multiple chronic health conditions," said Jay Greenberg, NCOA senior vice president for Social Enterprise.

"Providing members with tools that increase their confidence and get them more engaged in their own care is important," he added.

The first of four workshops consisting of about 25 Humana Cares members is already under way, and the national pilot is expected to conclude by the end of 2012.

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