Washington, D.C. (July 26, 2013) – The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) and WellPoint, Inc. hosted a Capitol Hill briefing today, addressing the increasing need for more effective and efficient approaches to health care for the Medicare population. This co-sponsored briefing was part of an ongoing collaboration focused on proactively identifying and advancing approaches to health care that address the crippling impact of chronic disease and support the delivery of coordinated, patient-centered care.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic disease accounts for about 75 percent of the nation's aggregate health care spending - or about $5,300 per person in the U.S. each year. In taxpayer-funded programs, treatment of chronic disease constitutes an even larger proportion of spending - 96 cents of every dollar of Medicare funding. “Providing quality care that can measurably improve health outcomes is a critical need as health and policy leaders look at how to best address the looming crisis of caring for our aging population,” said Dr. Ken Thorpe, PFCD Chairman. “Identifying, promoting and supporting existing, successful care models is an important step toward prevention and in the fight against chronic disease.”Today’s event focused on how more innovative approaches to care delivery can optimize coordination, affordability and effectiveness. For example, coordinating care through patient-centered medical homes and supporting self-management for all Medicare beneficiaries could make a significant impact on beneficiaries’ quality of life and the U.S. health care system as a whole.“CareMore is a great example of a program that exists to provide optimal care to the Medicare population,” said Linda Larue, General Manager of CareMore in Virginia. “Through the use of its patient-centered care model and individualized care plans, CareMore provides a bridge between traditional care delivery systems and seniors’ need for personalized, patient-centered care with a team approach.”"Our ability to provide targeted, coordinated services to our most frail and ill members, especially those living with multiple chronic conditions, has allowed CareMore to make a substantial impact on patient care, including better than average management of diabetes-related complications and hospital length of stay and 30-day readmissions rates that fall below general Medicare population averages," explained Tammy Cauthorne-Burnette, Nurse Practitioner for Chronic Disease Management Programs, CareMore in Virginia. "The lynch pin to these specialized programs and services is the Clinical Care Center where patients receive health education and have access to a nutritionist and the 'Nifty after Fifty' fitness center, as well as care from a team of nurse practitioners, extensivists and other specialists, working alongside their primary care provider.”CareMore created a successful Medicare advantage plan to provide coverage and care for more than 76,000 members in California, Arizona, and Nevada and in select areas of Virginia and New York is the health care delivery system for members of the local affiliated health plans. WellPoint acquired the California-based CareMore in 2011.Featured panel speakers included:
- Ken Thorpe, PhD, Chairman, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
- Linda Larue, General Manager, CareMore
- Tamara Cauthorne-Burnette, M.S.N, F.N.P., Nurse Practitioner, Chronic Disease Management Program, CareMore Virginia
- Richard Birkel, Ph.D., MPA, National Council on Aging
For more information on PFCD and future events, please visit www.fightchronicdisease.org.# # #Partnership to Fight Chronic DiseaseThe Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is an internationally-recognized NGO of patients, providers, community organizations, business and labor groups, and health policy experts committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability, and rising health care costs: chronic disease. For a collection of statistics and commentary on the impact of chronic disease, please visit almanac.fightchronicdisease.org.About WellPoint, Inc.At WellPoint, we believe there is an important connection between our members’ health and well-being—and the value we bring our customers and shareholders. So each day we work to improve the health of our members and their communities. And, we can make a real difference since we have nearly 36 million people in our affiliated health plans, and nearly 68 million people served through our subsidiaries. As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; and as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In a majority of these service areas, WellPoint’s plans do business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas). We also serve customers in several additional states through our Amerigroup subsidiary and in certain markets through our CareMore subsidiary. Our 1-800 CONTACTS, Inc. subsidiary offers customers online sales of contact lenses, eyeglasses and other ocular products. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.CareMore is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract.