SOURCE: HealthPartners

December 28, 2006 11:38 ET

HealthPartners Reports Most Cost Effective Programs in 2006

Generic Drugs, Disease Management Reduce Expenses Nearly $70 million

BLOOMINGTON, MN -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 28, 2006 -- HealthPartners reports that disease management and case management programs and generic drug use reduced medical expenses by $69 million in 2006. The programs include services that reduced medical complications for members with chronic illness and serious behavioral health conditions.

"We know that providing care that prevents medical complications significantly improves health and quality of life and now we have data to show that it also reduces the medical costs and helps us make care more affordable," said George Isham, M.D. HealthPartners chief health officer.

Generic drugs biggest cost savings

HealthPartners program to encourage generic drug use was the most cost effective initiative in 2006. Nearly two out of three prescriptions (64 percent) for HealthPartners members were for generic drugs, a significant increase from 50 percent in 2004. The average cost of a generic prescription is $23 compared to $130 for the average cost of a brand name drug.

Behavioral health

Another program that is among the most cost effective is an initiative to prevent behavioral health crises that lead to emergency hospitalization. HealthPartners Behavioral Health Case Management program reduced medical expenses by $3.6 million. The program identifies and offers services to members who are at risk for developing a behavioral health crisis within 12 months. The program increased outpatient visits by 26 percent and increased adherence to medication by 10 to 67 percent. Providing early intervention decreased emergency room visits for depression by nearly 10 percent.

Disease management

More than 100,000 HealthPartners members participate in disease management programs that prevent medical complications and reduced medical costs in 2006. The programs that were the most cost effective include:

Disease Management                              Reduced Expenses
                                              --------------------
Rare and chronic diseases                     $        6.6 million
                                              --------------------
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)                $        2.1 million
                                              --------------------
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)                 $        2.1 million
                                              --------------------
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)  $        2.7 million
                                              --------------------
Behavioral Health                             $        3.6 million
                                              --------------------
Case Management
                                              --------------------
Inpatient Case Management                     $        7.7 million
                                              --------------------
Complex Case Management                       $        9.8 million
                                              --------------------
Generic Drugs                                 $       34.5 million
                                              --------------------
About HealthPartners

HealthPartners (www.healthpartners.com) is the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the nation with commercial and Medicare Advantage plans that received the highest rating of "Excellent" from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

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