SOURCE: LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc.

May 04, 2006 08:00 ET

LifeMasters and Partnership HealthPlan of California Provide Disease Management Services to Medi-Cal Beneficiaries

Contract Expands LifeMasters' Presence in Its Home State of California and Leverages Experience and Success in Serving Underserved Medicaid Populations

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO and FAIRFIELD, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 4, 2006 -- LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc., a leading provider of disease management programs and services in the nation, and Partnership HealthPlan of California (PHC), a non-profit health plan for Medi-Cal (Medicaid) recipients in Solano, Napa and Yolo Counties, announced a joint partnership delivering disease management services to approximately 2,100 members. The goal of the collaboration is to improve health outcomes and help beneficiaries with diabetes and heart failure better manage their chronic diseases.

Under the three-year contract, Medi-Cal beneficiaries have access to LifeMasters customized disease management programs which provide coaching, lifestyle-modification and regular telephonic support from their own individually assigned health coach. Program participants learn to monitor their vital signs and symptoms to detect early changes in their health status and also receive supporting health education to encourage behavioral change. Participants' physicians are alerted to significant changes in their patients' health so they can intervene early to avoid emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

"The county organized health system model of Medi-Cal managed care encourages innovation in care delivery which disease management programs from LifeMasters can provide," said Jack Horn, Chief Executive Officer of Partnership HealthPlan. "Our goal is to improve health outcomes for our most vulnerable members, including seniors and persons with disabilities," he continued. "We chose LifeMasters because of their track record of success in delivering customized disease management programs to these populations, and to allow us to stretch taxpayer dollars while improving the quality of life for those served in the program."

The collaboration with PHC underscores LifeMasters' ongoing commitment and leadership in providing disease management services to government health program beneficiaries to create full-service programs that positively impact the health of the chronically ill across the nation. LifeMasters has significant experience in providing disease management programs to Medicaid populations. Since 2000, LifeMasters partnered with the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA), the agency that manages Florida's Medicaid program, in one of the industry's earliest public-private collaborations, providing beneficiaries in northern Florida with disease management services for congestive heart failure and all related conditions and comorbidities. In addition, LifeMasters provides disease management programs to 30,000 beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare in Florida through a CMS demonstration project; and to Medicaid beneficiaries in Texas, New Mexico and Georgia, in partnership with Medicaid managed care organizations.

"LifeMasters is pleased to work with Partnership HealthPlan to provide disease management services to their members," said David R. Strand, President and Chief Executive Officer of LifeMasters. "We have confidence that our track record of success and experience with several regional Medicaid populations throughout the country will enable Partnership HealthPlan to achieve similar results in managing their constituents with chronic disease."

Bonnie Gass' experience is just one example of the impact that the LifeMasters program has already had on PHC's program participants. Gass, 42, of Fairfield, Calif., who has been enrolled in the LifeMasters/PHC disease management program for four months, says she is motivated to improve her health status through the information and support she has received from her LifeMasters health professional. Gass, who has diabetes, says she was unaware of the importance of monitoring her blood sugar levels over time. Her LifeMasters health professional works closely with her to set goals for weight loss, meal planning, and monitoring and reporting her vital signs. As a result, she has lowered her blood glucose levels from 9.3% at the start of the LifeMasters program to 6.1% today (target range is less than 7.0%) and LDL cholesterol values have decreased from 134 to 82 mg/dl (target range is less than 100 mg/dl).

"This program is great because LifeMasters really wants to help you get better without judging you for how you got sick in the first place," says Mrs. Gass. "This is very important to me because I don't need to feel worse about having diabetes than I already do. My LifeMasters nurse encourages me to improve my health on every call and she also helps me prepare for my doctor visits by giving me a card to take with questions to ask that I wouldn't have thought of. I joined this program because I wanted to learn more about diabetes and I have learned a lot."

About Partnership HealthPlan of California

The Partnership HealthPlan of California (PHC) began operations in May 1994, and is a public/private organization designed to provide a cost-effective health care delivery system to 85,000 Medi-Cal recipients in California's Solano, Napa and Yolo Counties. The mission of PHC is to provide quality, accessible and efficient health benefits and services to Medi-Cal members and other select populations in the region through a public-private collaborative partnership. PHC's goals are to improve access, quality and cost effectiveness, through a managed care system.

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) hypertension and asthma (all of which are fully accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and URAC) 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. LifeMasters provides services to more than 600,000 people throughout the nation.

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, 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

  • Contacts:
    Denise Apcar
    LifeMasters
    (650) 829-6217
    Email Contact

    Liz Gibboney
    Partnership HealthPlan of California
    (707) 863-4232
    Email Contact