SOURCE: LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc.

June 08, 2005 12:00 ET

Aetna Extends Disease Management Program With LifeMasters

Successful Relationship Results in Seven Year Contract Renewal

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 8, 2005 -- In recognition of four consecutive years of a highly successful collaboration, LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc., a leading provider of disease management programs and services, today announced a seven year contract renewal with Aetna Health Management, a division of Aetna, Inc. This award-winning relationship has been marked by strong collaboration on program design, annual increases in members who participate in the Aetna Healthy Outlook Program®, improved member satisfaction and better health outcomes.

"Our decision to renew and extend our contract with LifeMasters is the result of a successful collaboration over the past four years," said William C. Popik, MD, Aetna Chief Medical Officer. "This relationship has reinforced our belief that targeted activities, education and member involvement in their own care can play a significant role in enhancing the quality of life for members who are living with chronic diseases."

The Aetna Healthy Outlook Program® is a suite of condition-specific disease management programs that coordinate education, counseling, member self-care and physician support to help their patients manage their condition. Once identified and enrolled, members receive educational materials and, in some cases, individualized case management, with an emphasis on lifestyle changes.

LifeMasters' services are incorporated into Aetna's disease management programs for chronic heart failure (CHF) and diabetes. Program participants are coached by trained nurses to understand their symptoms, improve compliance with their physician's treatment plan and increase communication with their physicians, so that potential problems are discovered earlier and addressed, helping to avoid preventable medical costs.

LifeMasters is committed to working hand-in-hand with health plans and other payors to create disease management programs that have a positive impact on the health of the chronically ill while potentially decreasing their high costs of care.

"We have worked closely with Aetna to design and implement a disease management program that best meets their needs and the needs of their members and customers," said David Strand, LifeMasters' president and chief executive officer. "Both companies entered this relationship four years ago with a deep commitment to the collaborative process and a shared passion for excellence. We look forward to continuing our relationship in the years to come, working together to help Aetna's members with chronic disease achieve optimal health."

About Aetna

As one of the nation's leading providers of health care, dental, pharmacy, group life, disability and long-term care benefits, Aetna puts information and helpful resources to work for its approximately 14.4 million medical members, 12.8 million dental members, 9.0 million pharmacy members and 14.0 million group insurance members to help them make better informed decisions about their health care and protect their finances against health-related risks. Aetna provides easy access to cost-effective health care through a nationwide network of more than 672,000 health care professionals, including approximately 400,000 primary care and specialist doctors and 4,084 hospitals. For more information, please visit www.Aetna.com. (Figures as of March 31, 2005)

About LifeMasters Supported SelfCare

LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc. is a leading provider of 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 chronic illnesses, reduce chronic-disease costs for payors and provide decision-support tools for physicians. LifeMasters offers programs for individuals with diabetes, congestive heart failure (CHF), coronary artery disease (CAD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma (all of which are fully accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)), hypertension, and musculo-skeletal pain. LifeMasters' programs are holistically focused and support clinical co-morbidities such as depression and facilitate lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation and weight loss. LifeMasters provides services to more than 400,000 people throughout the nation.

Founded in 1994 by a Harvard-trained 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, Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration (Medicaid) and CMS. More information about LifeMasters can be found at www.lifemasters.com or by calling 1-800-777-1307.

Contact Information