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Home > > NewsroomHAP's HealthTrack Fills Critical Gaps in Kidney Disease Care

HAP's HealthTrack Fills Critical Gaps in Kidney Disease Care

High-tech, high-touch program honored for improving the lives of Michigan residents

DETROIT – April 30, 2008 – People with diabetes and hypertension face a higher risk of kidney disease complications and end stage renal disease, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant for survival. Health Alliance Plan (HAP) is significantly reducing this risk by taking a high-tech, high-touch approach to help more patients get essential tests, medication, specialty care and greater self-motivation to manage their disease.

"HAP is taking a comprehensive approach of identifying high-risk members through an automated registry, coordinating their care, communicating with them regularly and offering incentives to help members prevent serious complications," said Richard Precord, director of Clinical Care Management. "Ultimately, by identifying and closing gaps in care, we will see a healthier population and a decrease in emergency room visits, inpatient stays and dialysis."

In 2007, HAP identified an estimated 24,000 members with both diabetes and hypertension. Sixty percent of this population lacked a recommended test (e.g., blood glucose, cholesterol, and kidney function tests) or medication to control their condition, and many were obese, which also increases their risk for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

In just one year, HAP increased its automated identification of members with gaps in care (missing essential screenings, medication or specialist care) to 5,021 members, up from 2,856 the previous year. The number of members receiving telephone outreach from a nurse (including screening for depression and other behavioral problems) increased by ten percent, to over 4,700 members.  More than 770 members with diabetes and hypertension participated in a low cost weight management program, and of these, more than one-third lost at least six percent of their body weight.

HAP members and their physicians overcame common barriers to managing CKD through the health plan's expanded HAP's HealthTrack disease management program, which works like this:

  • A HAP nurse case manager calls members to help them set goals and create an action plan.
  • The case manager monitors the member's claims and lab results and communicates with physicians as needed.
  • Through regular communication with the member, the case manager offers intense coaching on topics such as nutrition, physical activity and tobacco use, and also screens for depression and substance abuse.
  • Members are encouraged to complete home blood glucose and cholesterol tests.
  • The case manager may arrange for the patient to receive a Health Buddy® in-home device to monitor the patient's health and behaviors in the comfort of their home.
  • The patient is also connected with resources, such as pharmacists to coordinate medications, weight loss programs, educational materials and Web-based health tools.

HAP also engages physicians in CKD education through the Web-based Member Health Manager tool, seminars, and the promotion of clinical guidelines by physician champions.

When health plans help their members lead healthier lives and prevent or better manage their disease, they not only help to improve quality of life but also curb rising health care costs that are ultimately borne by everyone. For each member that HAP prevents from needing dialysis, there is a potential annual savings of ,000.  Halting the progression of CKD to ESRD for only 50 members would lead to an estimated total of million in cost savings.

The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) honored HAP with a 2008 Innovations in Health Care Award at the 10th Annual Lansing Champion of Hope Tribute Dinner on April 16 for improving the lives of Michigan residents with diabetes, kidney or cardiovascular disease.

"We are very impressed by the quality and creativity of Health Alliance Plan's innovative healthcare program," said Daniel Carney, President and CEO of NKFM. "We are especially impressed that their program identifies chronic kidney disease early in patients with diabetes and hypertension, the two leading causes of kidney disease."

According to the National Kidney Foundation, one in nine, or 769,000 Michigan adults age 20 and over has CKD. More than 70 percent of kidney failure cases in Michigan that are caused by hypertension and diabetes could have been prevented or delayed through medication management and lifestyle changes. On March 1, 2008 more than 2,500 Michigan residents were awaiting a kidney transplant.

About HAP
Headquartered in Detroit, Health Alliance Plan is a nonprofit health plan serving 545,000 members and 2,000 employer groups. HAP is a subsidiary of the Henry Ford Health System, one of the nation's leading regional health care systems. The health plan serves companies of all sizes through the flagship HMO, PPOs, Medicare Advantage plans, experience-rated, fully insured and self-funded products. The National Committee for Quality Assurance awarded HAP's commercial HMO and HAP Senior Plus, its Medicare Advantage HMO, Excellent Accreditation. 

HAP will offer free blood pressure, body fat (BMI) and retinal exams to select HAP HMO Commercial members with diabetes who are due for retinal screenings based on the HEDIS® diabetes care measure. Case managers will also be available to discuss members' concerns about diabetes. Participants will receive healthy rewards including a gift card. Photo opportunities will be available throughout the day.

When: May 20, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
May 21, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  
Where: HAP Corporate Headquarters
2850 W. Grand Blvd. Detroit


For More Information Contact:
Tiffany Baker, MA 
Public Relations Specialist  
(248) 443-1072

Susan Schwandt, APR
Public Relations Director
(248) 443-1076

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